The Rael & Letson Challenge
Rael & Letson is an exciting, growing firm, committed to its employees and clients. We strive to provide a work environment that supports all employees’ professional goals. Careers at Rael & Letson offer intellectual challenge, opportunity to make positive impact on clients, diverse job responsibilities, financial reward and avenues for personal growth. Staff members are mutually supportive of each others’ accomplishments. Individual success creates success for the firm and vice-versa.
Our environment is one in which employees have significant independence and accountability for their work, coupled with a high degree of flexibility. High standards are set for both employee satisfaction and our work product. At Rael & Letson, we thrive on challenging work. We are proud of our productive, stimulating and amicable “open door” work environment.
The employee turnover rate has been low throughout the firm’s 50+ year history. Over 55% of current employees have been with Rael & Letson five or more years; over 20% have been with us ten or more years. Staff has grown four-fold in the past decade.
A career at Rael & Letson is a powerful statement about dedication to high standards. The employees at Rael & Letson share a dedication to the following work ethics:
- consistent performance,
- accurate results,
- the ability to take initiative and to prioritize,
- creative problem solving,
- positive approach to challenge, and
- commitment to quality
Rael & Letson employs actuaries, consultants and technical staff with diverse backgrounds and skills. In general, the attributes most essential for success are self-motivation and superior analytical and communication skills.
Our company’s mission is to provide timely, accurate and useful information to our clients, thus allowing them to make the best decisions possible on behalf of their plan participants. To that end, we need a team of employees who can hear and assess our clients’ needs, provide expert analysis and industry knowledge, and effectively articulate information to our clients. In addition, we value people who are self-starters. While a less experienced associate may receive mentoring from a more experienced colleague, we do not have formal training programs. Each individual must have the initiative to work independently and grow professionally.
We offer a matrix of career paths: actuarial or non-actuarial, consultant or technical team member. As implied by the word matrix, individuals are not restricted to a linear path, nor are these options mutually exclusive. For example, successful consultants may have actuarial or non-actuarial experience and backgrounds. Of greater importance is our consultants’ in-depth knowledge in their areas of expertise and their ability to communicate with their clients.
Consultants are those with direct client responsibility and with expertise in health and welfare and/or pension plans. Members of the consulting team may be actuaries or non-actuaries, but all share the following attributes:
- Excellent analytical skills
- Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
- Superior understanding of the issues facing our clients
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills
- Prior experience as a consultant or analyst
- A college degree (many have postgraduate degrees as well)
We promote a team approach, recognizing that consultants would be unable to carry out their duties successfully without the support of the technical group. Therefore, analysts are valued whether or not their desired career track includes having direct client responsibility.
Candidates must be proficient with spreadsheets such as Excel and word processing applications such as Word or WordPerfect. Also, depending upon the nature of their work, technical analysts should have working knowledge of database design, maintenance and use, and computer programming.
Those pursuing an actuarial career path have taken or are taking professional examinations to attain the designations Associate, Fellow or Enrolled Actuary issued by the Society of Actuaries and/or Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. Actuaries must have strong mathematical aptitude, keen problem solving skills and excellent computer skills. An actuary or assistant actuary may choose to focus in the areas of defined benefit pension plan valuations, health and welfare plan pricing and/or postemployment benefits other than pensions calculations (i.e., retiree health). Depending upon exam status and experience, duties range from:
- Data preparation and analysis
- Completion of required government filings
- Valuation of accrued and expected benefit obligations
- Database programming
- Liability and asset summaries
- Selection of actuarial assumptions
- Cost projections
While not as “numbers focused” as the actuarial route, the non-actuarial career path offers its own stringent demands. Those choosing this path also need to be technically strong. Our clients depend upon our expertise in employee benefit issues to help them understand their plans’ position, financially and competitively. Therefore, our staff must know of the meaning behind the numbers in the context of industry trends and government regulations.
Projects are varied and no two clients are alike, so the work is seldom “routine.” Typical responsibilities include:
- Management of RFPs and RFP responses for benefits such as medical, dental, drug and vision plans
- Calculations of projected costs
- Determination of costs/savings resulting from benefit changes
- Development of COBRA rates
- Writing SPDs
- Reviewing vendor contracts
- Production of quarterly and annual reports which typically include such things as utilization, income and expense