Friday, October 01, 2004

My profession

As I mentioned in my last post, I work in defined benefit outsourcing area. Defined contribution plans (e.g., your 401(k) account) is pretty simple. If your balance is $60,000.13, then that's your balance and you're done. However, in defined benefit plans there are (a) a gazillion regulations from the IRS, the PBGC, ERISA, etc., etc., and (b) complicated actuarial calculations involved. That's where I (and my team) come in.

OK, so what's an actuary? The dictionary says, "someone versed in the collection and interpretation of numerical data (especially someone who uses statistics to calculate insurance premiums)." That's pretty good, but it's not quite the whole story. Actuaries are the professionals that price all manner of risk. So they work in life insurance, health insurance, property/casualty insurance and pension/annuities.

To be quite precise, I shouldn't really call myself an actuary. To be an actuary, there is a series of exams that must be completed. While you are in the process of completing the exams as I am you should more properly refer to yourself as "working in the actuarial field." But that's too long and boring.

So, we've covered my background and my field. My next post will cover my specific work history in the defined benefit outsourcing field. That will catch up all the background history and bring everything sort of up to date. Beyond that, we'll see what I add.

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