Numbers falling (Credit: Thinkstock)

Thomas Campbell is the new leader of a group that helps U.S. policymakers do the math.

Taking over as the 2020-2021 president of the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA)  last week, Campbell is a senior consulting actuary at Actuarial Resources Corp. in Farmington, Connecticut. He succeeds Joeff Williams, a consulting actuary with Actuarial Management Resources in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The 19,500 members of the 55-year-old AAA work with Congress, federal agencies and state governments to create and understand the statistics behind pension plans, other types of retirement arrangements, commercial health insurance, Social Security and Medicare.

(Related: What Impact Will The New VA Reserving Guideline Have?)

Paul Spitalnic, for example, is the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He’s also holds the member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA) professional designation.

Stephen Goss, the chief actuary at the Social Security Administration, and Scott Young, director of the Actuarial Services and Technology Department at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., also hold the MAAA designation.

The Congressional Budget Office, a research office that analyzes legislation for Congress, has had Cori Uccello, a senior health fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries, who holds the MAAA designation, on the technical review panel for its health insurance simulation model.

Campbell’s Background

After getting a bachelor’s degree in math from Providence College, Campbell worked as an actuary at Hartford Life from 1983 to 2013.

He has been active in both the Society of Actuaries and AAA for decades. He served as the academy’s vice president from 2007 through 2009, as its secretary and treasurer from 2016 through 2019, and as its president-election for the past year.

Early on, he was visible in actuarial group efforts to set reserving standards for variable annuities and other products sold by life insurers. In 2002, for example, he was active in efforts to adjust annuity crediting rate guarantee standards to reflect falling interest rates.

In 2006, Campbell was in discussions with state insurance regulators over whether variable annuity with benefits guarantees were “toxic.”

Last week, Campbell became president of the actuarial academy during a “virtual” annual meeting. The academy held the meeting online because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Campbell said following the meeting that the academy has an important role to play in providing objective analyses of public policy issues.

The challenges facing policymakers in 2021 “include the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and its public health, financial, and economic consequences; new initiatives to examine racial inequities in insurance; and contributing to a greater understanding of climate risk and its financial security implications,” Campbell said, according to a summary provided by the academy.

— Read Task Force Exposes Draft Of Annuity Reserving Guidelineson ThinkAdvisor.

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