Penflex, Inc. is a firm located in upstate New York that provides actuarial and administrative services and is nationally recognized for specializing in Length of Service Award Programs (LOSAPs), which are pension-like programs for members of volunteer fire departments and rescue squads. Penflex is responding to an increase in demand for their services by bolstering their actuarial staff with the addition of 2 new actuaries: Craig Relyea, ASA and Kati Buccinna, ASA, EA, MAAA. Kati Buccinna was hired from outside the firm while Craig Relyea achieved his ASA accreditation as a direct result of training and mentoring he received while working at Penflex.
“I am extremely proud to be the first member of the Penflex staff to attain my actuarial credentials while an employee of the firm. It also serves our customers well because throughout this experience I have always connected the knowledge gained to our line of work, and that has helped further my understanding of our clients’ needs immensely,” Relyea said.
Mr. Relyea credited company founder, Ed Holohan, with supporting him throughout his journey from support staff to fully accredited actuary. “I joined Penflex in 2008 having already successfully passed one of the five preliminary exams required for the ASA designation. The unique opportunity that Penflex provided me was the support to pass the actuarial exams while gaining invaluable experience in the field at the same time. Ed, along with Senior Actuary, Tony Fiorillo, was instrumental in offering me both the technical knowledge and study tips I needed in order advance in the exams,” Relyea said.
“Craig is our first home-grown actuary since I started this firm in 1990. We are very proud of his achieving the ASA designation. Even though he is already a key member of our Penflex staff, Craig is on track to become a leader in our firm,” said Holohan.
Also joining the staff is Kati Buccinna, ASA, EA, MAAA. Kati began her career with Mercer Oliver Wyman where she provided consulting services for a variety of insurance coverages and programs, including workers’ compensation, products liability, and medical malpractice. Prior to joining Penflex, Inc. in 2016, Kati was the assistant manager in the Office of the Actuary for the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS). NYSTRS is one of the largest pension funds in the United States with assets of more than $100 billion and provides benefits to more than 425,000 members and beneficiaries. In her role at NYSTRS, Kati oversaw the work of the Office of the Actuary which included the production of the annual actuarial valuation, actuarial cost calculations for proposed legislation, calculation of financial reporting information for the comprehensive annual financial report, and ensuring compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and applicable accounting standards.
“Most of the LOSAP programs we administer are sponsored by state and local governments who are looking for ways to recruit and retain emergency services volunteers. New reporting requirements for LOSAP program sponsors have been adopted by GASB (The Governmental Accounting Standards Board). Kati has extensive experience in her actuarial career, including helping hundreds of NYS school districts comply with GASB pension plan reporting requirements. She is a perfect fit for Penflex and we, as well as our clients, are fortunate to have Kati on staff,” Holohan said.
The increase in actuarial staff at Penflex, Inc. is a direct result of the growth in the number of LOSAP programs for which Penflex provides actuarial, administrative, and consulting services. Currently, Penflex services over 400 programs in 8 states and provides consulting services for existing and proposed programs in many other states. Ed Holohan, ASA, the firm’s President, is nationally recognized for his LOSAP expertise and has helped draft state and federal legislation, including proposed amendments to the Internal Revenue Code clarifying the federal income tax treatment of LOSAP benefits paid to emergency services volunteers and their beneficiaries.