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Actuary Biographies–Pensions and Retirement

Anne M. Button, FSA, EA, MAAA

Specialist Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Anne M. Button is a specialist leader at Deloitte Consulting and has been with the company for seven years. Prior to joining Deloitte, Anne worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers (Coopers & Lybrand) for 16 years and spent three years operating a small inn in Vermont. Anne sits on the board of directors for the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and is a consulting actuary. She was chair of the SOA's Pension Section Council when it launched Retirement 20/20–an initiative aiming to develop a third retirement system independent from defined benefit and contribution plans–and was a key organizer of the first two Retirement 20/20 conferences.

Anne has more than 20 years experience consulting with clients of all sizes. Her consulting expertise includes annual funding and expense valuations, design and implementation of pension plans, retirement plan compliance, plan terminations and funding arrangements. Anne has moderated or spoken at a number of SOA meetings on retirement topics, including Retirement 20/20.

Anne is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Emily K. Kessler, FSA, EA, MAAA, FCA

Senior Fellow, Intellectual Capital

Emily K. Kessler is Senior Fellow, Intellectual Capital of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and, with the SOA's Pension Section Council, launched the Retirement 20/20 initiative in 2006. Retirement 20/20 is an initiative to envision 21st century retirement systems. "When you look at the overall retirement landscape, you will see that if actuaries were not involved, it would look quite different," says Kessler. "As actuarial models and principles are key elements of our retirement systems, it is necessary for actuaries to be continually engaged in retirement conversation."

Kessler joined the SOA in 2003 as the retirement staff Fellow, where she worked with SOA members on research and education issues for actuaries whose primary practice is pension. Kessler worked on the implications of financial economics on the pension actuarial paradigm and in understanding the needs and risks faced by individuals post–retirement. In that role, she became interested in broader retirement issues and pensions.

Prior to joining the SOA, Kessler was a consulting actuary at Towers Perrin for 14 years, where she worked with Fortune 500 clients on the design, administration and financing of pension and post–retirement medical plans.

Kessler earned an undergraduate degree in mathematical methods in the social sciences, with an emphasis on sociology, from Northwestern University. She presents at numerous actuarial conferences, including the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania's Pension Research Council and National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI). Kessler is also a member of NASI and the Pension Research Council Advisory Board at the Wharton School.

Anna M. Rappaport, FSA, MAAA

Anna Rappaport Consulting

Anna Rappaport is a consulting actuary, chair of the Society of Actuaries' Committee on Post–Retirement Needs and Risks and she led the effort to produce the Risks and Processes of Retirement Survey Report. An internationally recognized expert on the impact of change on retirement systems and workforce issues, Anna has established her own firm specializing in strategies for better retirement systems. Prior to heading Anna Rappaport Consulting, Anna had a 28–year career with Mercer Human Resource Consulting and worked in the life insurance industry from 1958–1976.

Anna has helped many organizations develop their strategies with regard to retirement benefits. The topics she focuses on include the future of employee benefits, strategy for pension benefits, implications of an aging workforce, phased retirement, post–retirement risk, retiree health, Social Security and women's special retirement challenges. In her organizational participation, writing and speaking, she brings forward important issues to ensure that decision makers can act on the best available information, strongly driven by facts and thorough analysis.


  • Wynn Kent Public Communication Award
  • Workers in Employee Benefits named her Employee Benefits Professional of the Decade in connection with their 10th anniversary.
  • Business Insurance selected her as one of the top 100 women in benefits and insurance in October 2000.
  • In March 2003, Anna received the Illinois State Treasurer's Woman to Woman Award as a Trailblazer in Public Policy.
  • Anna was the recipient of the YWCA's Outstanding Achievement in Business Award in October 2003.
  • She received The Society of Actuaries John E. O'Connor Distinguished Service Award for 2003.
  • In October 2005, WISER awarded her a Heros Award for her contributions to furthering women's retirement security.

In 2007, she was appointed Senior Fellow on Pensions & Retirement by The Conference Board. She is a past–president of the Society of Actuaries. Over the past few years, she has participated in many organizations, committees and Boards including the Actuarial Foundation, WISER, the National Academy of Social Insurance and the Pension Research Council, among others. Anna is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and holds a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.

Steve Vernon, FSA, MAAA

Rest–of–Life Communications

Steve Vernon has 30 years of experience helping large employers design and manage their retirement programs. He recently retired as Vice President and Consulting Actuary with the human resources consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide and has published two books on retirement issues.

Steve also has spent 15 years studying human potential and behavior change. He is President of Rest–of–Life Communications and a member of the Executive Faculty and Research Fellow with the California Institute for Finance at California Lutheran University, where he conducts research on behavioral finance. He has delivered more than 50 training sessions on a variety of technical and personal growth topics.

Steve's latest work is a DVD/booklet combination titled The Quest: For Long Life, Health and Prosperity. It contains interviews with experts in the fields of life planning, health and finance, and interviews people from all walks in life who are living examples of the advice from the experts. It reflects the latest thinking in how to best live the rest of our lives. His other published works include:

  • Live Long & Prosper! Invest in Your Happiness, Health and Wealth for Retirement and Beyond (2005)
  • Don't Work Forever! Simple Steps Baby Boomers Must Take To Ever Retire (1995)
  • Employee Benefits: Valuation, Analysis and Strategies (1993)

He is an experienced speaker, with over dozens of presentations, keynote addresses and workshops on his books.

Steve has earned the designations Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA), Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA), and Member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. He is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine, with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and social science.