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Margaret A. Lacek

Margaret, who joined Cowden in 2008, is a senior consultant and actuary in the actuarial practice. She has more than 25 years of pension actuarial skills and retirement benefits experience. Her expertise extends beyond annual valuations, funding calculations, financial accounting and government reporting, benefit calculations, and related consulting to management of plans through the process of plan termination and risk reduction through annuity purchase. She meticulously prepares both corporate and non-profit retiree medical plan valuations, as well as issuing GASB 75 reports for governmental retiree medical plans.

Margaret has been involved in numerous projects including implementation of an asset method change that reduced minimum funding requirements by 25%, while reducing future volatility. Another project structured an annuity purchase to reduce the inactive participant count, thereby eliminating the need for a plan audit, decreasing PBGC flat rate premiums by 35%, and accelerating application of the variable rate cap. After the settlement, the annuity purchase also improved funding status by 23%. She also identified frozen pension and OPEB clients with declining active populations that could change their amortization method for accounting expense-the implementation of her recommendations reduced net periodic benefit cost for the employers by between 80% and 200%.

Margaret also has a unique background in special projects involving demographic projections and analyses of retirement income and subsistence expenses for religious communities. This was an enjoyable challenge, as it required her to understand a specialized population and use actuarial techniques not usually applied in her routine work.

Since 2017, Margaret has supervised and proctored specialty group health and pension Fellowship exams for the Society of Actuaries. Margaret also conducts technical seminars to strengthen the skills and knowledge base among Cowden’s team of analysts.

Margaret is an Enrolled Actuary (EA) under ERISA, a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries (FSA), a Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries (FCA), and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).

She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, summa cum laude, and is a member of the honors society, Phi Beta Kappa.