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Problems obtaining information from prior actuary

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So I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions about how to handle the following situation:

We were recently engaged by a client to takeover their actuarial work.  As standard practice, the client messaged the prior actuary asking them to share historical plan information and discuss the plan with us.  We followed up with a formal request for data and heard nothing.  After repeated requests with no response we started calling the prior actuary with no response and no ability to leave a voicemail.

Well today I got through on the phone (Yay!).  I introduced myself and the prior actuary immediately hung up.  I called back a few hours later and was told, "**** you!" and he immediately hung up.

Any thoughts?

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Maybe contact the ABCD. This is definitely a violation of all sorts of codes of conduct.

Free advice is worth what you paid for it. Do not rely on the information provided in this post for any purpose, including (but not limited to): tax planning, compliance with ERISA or the IRC, investing or other forms of fortune-telling, bird identification, relationship advice, or spiritual guidance.

Corey B. Zeller, MSEA, CPC, QPA, QKA
Preferred Pension Planning Corp.

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I agree with CB that you should contact the ABCD.  Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like he will be cooperative with them either.  

That said, the plan sponsor is the primary source of participant history.  I recognize it is much easier to get this from the prior actuary, but the sponsor should have records of the information they provided.  You can get the plan document from the attorney or the sponsor.  There is really very little the actuary has that you can't obtain from other sources.  

Has the prior actuary provided the signed SB for the last valuation they prepared?  That would be the one item I would either confirm they will provide, or you will need to inform the sponsor that you will need to redo the most recent valuation.  With ARPA's passage - you might just want to do that anyway.



The material provided and the opinions expressed in this post are for general informational purposes only and should not be used or relied upon as the basis for any action or inaction. You should obtain appropriate tax, legal, or other professional advice.

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Yeah, the plan sponsor has been super flaky about getting me data as well.  That's a different issue.  If I at least had a copy of the actuarial valuation report for a single year I could probably move forward pretty easily.

I'm able to pull the prior SB and such from EFAST so that's not difficult to obtain.  But the provisions attached to the SB aren't the cleanest and I'd love a copy of the document.

I've reached out to the ABCD already so we'll see what they say as well.

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Interested the the ABCD’s response as well...

I would agree with others that have mentioned walking away.  Worked with plenty of clients I would consider “super flaky” and no matter how much you do for them, they never seem to be happy in my experience.

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Agree with all - if client is unable, unwilling or otherwise problematic in getting you basic required information they should readily have, including census history (at least recent years), the last few valuation reports, and the latest plan document, then I would have little confidence that they'll instantly turn over a new leaf and in the future provide you with everything you need each year on a timely basis.

Remember, it's usually 10% of your clients that cause 90% of your problems, so if you can identify and avoid someone likely to be in that 10% (and thereby shrink it), then walking away might be your best course of action unless the size of the engagement is meaningful to your practice.

Kenneth M. Prell, CEBS, ERPA

Vice President, BPAS Actuarial & Pension Services


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