What is the Office of the State Actuary? Back to Top

We are an independent and non-partisan Legislative agency and work primarily on the funding and benefit issues of the state’s public retirement systems. OSA was created in 1977 and its duties are listed in Chapters 44.44 and 41.24 RCW. Our office is led by the State Actuary. You can read his bio here. The State Actuary is appointed by the State Actuary Appointment Committee. More information is available in RCW 44.44.013.

Partner Agencies Back to Top

The following is a list of agencies that interact with the work of the Office of the State Actuary and Washington State Pension Plans.

What are OSA's other Responsibilities? Back to Top

Details on OSA's non-pension duties can be found on the Additional Services page.

About Actuaries Back to Top

Actuaries are math professionals who measure and manage financial risk. They are employed by insurance companies, banks, or investment firms. In state government, agencies administering pension, health care, unemployment, or worker's compensation benefits rely on actuarial calculations in one way or another.

Pension actuaries estimate the financial implications and consequences of events twenty, thirty, or more years into the future.  They are concerned with demographic trends and statistics within the pension plans’ membership.  They analyze the economic factors that may affect the value of a pension plan’s benefits or assets.  This work relies on mathematical principles and assumptions, statistics, probabilities, and experience.

The California Research Bureau provides a plain language primer that summarizes and explains the actuarial methods and practices.  You may access the report directly from the CRB website. Or you may download the report in PDF format .

More information about the actuarial profession in general is available at The Society of Actuaries website.

How do I verify whether or not someone is a credentialed actuary? Back to Top

There are several agencies you may contact to verify actuarial credentials. Public pension actuaries are not required to possess the EA credential provided by the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries Internal Revenue Service. A summarized, searchable database of actuaries and credentials can be found at the Actuarial Directory.

Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries Internal Revenue Service (JBEA)  

1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC  20224
Phone: 202.622.8229
Fax: 202.622.8300 

The JBEA regulates the credentialing of actuaries practicing in the pension field and issues pension actuaries' enrollment numbers.  Enrolled Actuaries may use the initials EA.

American Academy of Actuaries

1100 17th Street NW 7th Floor
Washington, DC  20036
Phone: 202.223.8196
Fax: 202.872.1948

The American Academy of Actuaries is a professional organization of actuaries practicing mainly in the United States and Canada. Members may use the initials MAAA (Member, American Academy of Actuaries).

Society of Actuaries

475 North Martingale #600
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173
Phone: 847.706.3500
Fax: 847.706.3599

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) administers examinations that lead to professional designation of Associate or Fellow of the SOA (ASA or FSA).

Conference of Consulting Actuaries

388 Salem Lake Drive, Suite H
Long Grove, Illinois  60047-6400
Phone: 847.719.6500
Fax: 847.719.6506

Members of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries are also designated as either a Fellow (FCA) or Associate (ACA).

What is the Select Committee on Pension Policy (SCPP)? Back to Top

The SCPP studies issues and policies affecting the state's public employee retirement systems. The Committee studies benefits, plan design, eligibility requirements and pension funding methods, and makes recommendations to the Legislature. Visit the SCPP website for more information.

What is the LEOFF 2 Retirement Board? Back to Top

The Washington State Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Plan 2 Retirement Board (LEOFF 2) was created by Initiative 790 in November 2002. Board members are appointed by the Governor. The LEOFF 2 Retirement Board studies pension issues, sets contribution rates, and recommends pension policy to the Legislature in the interest of LEOFF 2 members.

Last Reviewed: 11/08/2021

Last Updated: 11/08/2021