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May 23, 2005

IRS' Paulette Tino First Woman to Receive Prestigious Actuarial Honor for Public Service

11th Recipient Has Been an IRS Actuary for 30 Years and Still Working at Age 81

Paulette Tino, a remarkable woman for the history she has lived and made, was awarded the prestigious Robert J. Myers Public Service Award in a ceremony at the American Academy of Actuaries' 2005 Spring Meeting on May 3rd. Tino, 81, an actuary and 30-year veteran of the IRS, is the 11th recipient and first woman to receive the award. The Academy is a non-profit, professional membership organization based in Washington, D.C., that represents the actuarial profession on public policy and professionalism issues.

The award is presented annually to an actuary who has made major contributions to the common good through service to government or public organizations. The award is named after Robert J. Myers, the first chief actuary of the Social Security Administration (1947 to 1970). During his tenure he helped structure and fund the nation's largest social insurance program in history.

"As I receive this honor for public service, as a fellow actuary, you receive this honor with me," said the diminutive Tino in her thick French accent, as she peered over the top of the podium to address 270 of her colleagues and friends in the audience, including Robert J. Myers. The award ceremony followed remarks by Treasury Secretary John Snow, who heads the cabinet department that oversees the IRS. Snow met with Tino prior to his speech, and congratulated her on her achievements during his remarks.

Academy president Robert E. Wilcox praised Tino for her accomplishments and contributions to the public and to the profession. Wilcox noted that before choosing an actuarial career she had thought about going into another field that dealt with forecasting -- meteorology. "Choosing actuarial science was a no-brainer she told me," he said. "Weather forecasting's loss was pension solvency's gain."

In accepting the award she reflected on her illustrious career, and the history she has seen and lived. Born in France, as a young girl, Tino played in the shadows of Noyon Cathedral where Charlemagne was crowned King of the Franks. As a teenager, she listened behind closed shutters the day the German army marched into Paris, and as a young woman she joined crowds rejoicing in the streets at the liberation of her hometown by allied forces. After graduating from the Sorbonne, she and her husband Ovid moved to Montreal and in 1954, she moved to New York City, where she worked for George B. Buck consultants.

Tino joined the IRS in 1975, and was one of the first actuaries hired to work on the development of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA is the landmark federal act that has shaped retirement and health care policy for 30 years.

In 1980, she became a member and was the first woman to serve on the joint board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. As a member of the Joint Board she has served the profession for many years in the creation, testing, and certification of actuarial exams. "Because of her diligence, young actuaries are taught the importance of quality and accuracy in the certification, reporting and disclosure of pension plan solvency," said Wilcox. Wilcox also praised her groundbreaking accomplishments in the pension actuarial community as she is considered the nation's foremost expert on the actuarial certification commonly known as Form 5500 Schedule B.

The American Academy of Actuaries is the nonpartisan public policy organization for the U.S. actuarial profession. The Academy provides independent analysis to elected officials and regulators, maintains professional standards for all actuaries, and communicates the value of actuarial work to the media and public.

Source: American Academy of Actuaries

Posted by Tom Troceen