(Photo by Omar Vega/AP Images)

On September 22, 2014, Truitt Smith, vice president of qualified plans for American National Insurance Company, passed away after a battle with cancer, the Texas-based company announced on Thursday. Many in the insurance industry knew Truitt from his NAILBA speaking events. 

“He was a mainstay at NAILBA each year representing American National and was a well-known national seminar speaker on retirement planning,” said David Behrens, executive vice president of marketing at American National. Truitt had been with American National since 1998 and had previously worked for Lafayette Life from 1985-1998.

“He built the pension business at American National and brought the ability to create sophisticated qualified plans that met the needs of closely held business owners while also marketing the plans to the field. Truitt will be missed for his wit and kindness by his fellow employees at American National,” added Behrens.

Bob Schefft, vice president at American National, said in an interview with LifeHealthPro.com, “What was great about Truitt is he had all of the technical knowledge to create and design qualified plans that serve the best interests of the closely held businesses, while also having the expertise to work with the IRS to have these plans qualified and approved for use by the IRS. Truitt pioneered several unique plan designs including fully insured split funded 412(i) plans, age weighted profit sharing plans and cross tested profit sharing plans.”

Schefft also said that Truitt was very proud of his loyal staff, encouraging them to keep on studying to become Qualified Pension Administrators, “which many did fulfill.”

In 2001, Truitt authored an article on small business retirement plans for National Underwriter Life & Health, which you can read here.