I’ve learned a lot
from fellow council
members with different
similarly, I’ve had the
chance to change how
others look at an issue
by providing an
helped me by making me a better actuary with greater sensitivity to the big
picture. I now know that when it comes
to public policy work, it’s important to
think broadly, bring different perspectives to bear, and create solutions that
reflect the trade-offs between different
points of view and the needs of various
each opening. Don’t be afraid to ask
for letters in support of your candidacy from those with whom you have
worked professionally and who know
your abilities and how you can add
value in the advisory committee role.
■ ■ Take advantage of reports and work
products, even if you are not directly
engaged with a group or committee.
They contain a wealth of valuable and
■ ■ Consider committee work as part of
a phased retirement. If you are seeking to stay engaged in the actuarial
community as you near retirement
age, these positions allow you to pass
along your accrued wisdom and experience. Retirement from a full-time
job also frees up the time you may
have to devote to an advisory group.
■ ■ Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t
appointed on your first attempt.
Try again. Several of the advisory or
volunteer positions I’ve held in my
professional career were the result of
multiple attempts on my part.
One of the challenges I’ve had in my
work as a federal adviser is that there’s
no direct link between specific outcomes and the work I do as a member
of the group. Still, I believe that my input to all of the groups in which I have
participated has been useful. And it has
ANNA RAPPAPORT is a fellow of the
Society of Actuaries and a member
of the Academy. After 28 years with
Mercer, she is now a phased retiree and
owner of Anna Rappaport Consulting.
This article represents her personal
views and not those of the ERISA
Advisory Council or any other group
with which she is affiliated. Nor does
it express the official policy of the
American Academy of Actuaries or the
opinions of the Academy’s individual
officers, members, or staff.
Uncle Sam Needs You
E S T A B L I S H E D B Y S T A T U T E , the ERISA Advisory Council is composed of
15 members who represent different constituencies, including actuaries. My
three-year term as the ERISA Advisory Council’s representative for actuarial
consulting expires Dec. 31, 2012. Based on nominations that are received during
an open period to be announced by the Labor Department this summer, the
secretary of labor will appoint an actuary to succeed me.
I encourage interested colleagues to consider nominating a qualified
actuary. For more information about the council, its work, and the nominating
process for new members, go to http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/aboutebsa/erisa_
JUL | AUG. 12 CONTINGENCIES 13