New York City Actuary Alleges He Was Passed Over Because He’s Asian and Gay

Let me be clear – this is for a government position. Not for one of the many private firms in the city.

A former deputy chief actuary has sued the City of New York alleging he was denied a promotion to the top job because of his race and sexual orientation — not his ability to handle billions of dollars of pension and retirement investments.

Craig Chu, 41, began working at the NYC Office of the Actuary in 2017 after years of working in the world of actuarial science, focusing on pension investments, he wrote in a federal bias suit filed in November.

The former chief actuary, Sherry Chan, left the job in January 2022, and Chu applied for the position when it was listed that May — writing in the lawsuit that he had been praised “for his credentials, work product, personnel management experience, and track record with the city.”

More at the link.

While it is mentioned that political issues are involved, yadda yadda, I have a feeling that this may be relevant:

But the job eventually went to the other candidate, Marek Tyszkiewicz, who has 33 years of actuarial experience and moved to the city for the job from Cincinnati, Ohio, according to his LinkedIn profile and the July press release announcing the hiring.

Chu may have all sorts of credentials, but I doubt he has 33 years of experience. And yes, actually doing work through a few credit cycles is relevant.

But let me bring up credentialism:

Chu said he believes he is more qualified than Tyszkiewicz on paper. For example, there are different levels once becoming an actuary: The first level is an associate, which requires passing seven preliminary actuarial exams and then meeting a few other requirements.

Chu is a fellow, which comes after passing three additional fellowship exams, he said. He is listed with the qualification by the Society of Actuaries, with a specialty in the public sector and pensions.

Tyszkiewicz, though, is only at the lower apprentice level, according to the SOA.

“He is substantially less qualified,” Chu said. “He has never worked for a public sector employer or managed public sector employees.”

Are career associates up to snuff?

Have at it!

[“lower apprentice level” hmmmmm]

can we get this chu guy on here to defend his stance? the “lower apprentice level” quote is sure to endear him to many.

we failed to get amy cooper and i was sad.

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The job is one of the highest-paid in the city, with an annual salary of $325,000, according to city records.

resume incoming

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How do you know they aren’t on here

Sup homies

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wait, Craig Chu is an enrolled actuary. Marek Tyszkiewicz is not an enrolled actuary. I suppose for public pensions you might not need to be an EA since they make their own rules? I’m a little unclear on that. But why is the chief actuary not an EA?

former chief actuary, Sherry Chan is an EA.


slightly relevant analogy, IMO:

I’ll put my money on the 33 year master sergeant with an associates degree over the 10 year captain with a masters degree when it comes to knowing and understanding what shit likely to be coming down the pipes with respect to military operations and what the opposition is likely to be up to.

And since when do the societies utilize an apprenticeship paradigm for credentialling?

I think that comment may have come from a journalist unfamiliar with actuarial credentials, not the dip-:poop:

That being said, as a career Associate, I do feel that some Fellows dwell too much on the difference in credentials, and neglect the value of experience.

I noticed recently that the 14th highest paid CEO in Canada is a career ACAS.

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oh okay, if it was just an idiot journalist, then that’s totally different. it would be pretty bad if an actuary said that as a defense.

i’m not sure the fact that this guy only has maybe 19 years experience means that he is less qualified. at some point, experience kind of caps out.

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True, but sometimes it’s more about the quality/nature of that experience than it is about the quantity of experience.

yes, that’s my point. i don’t think you can say the guy with 33 years is more qualified than the guy with 19 years just due to the extra 14 years.

i’m assuming 19 years in taking 41 - 22 in assuming Chu started working at age 22.

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Interesting. Chu seems very intelligent. I also believe he isn’t much younger than his predecessor, Sherry Chan, when she started in that role. I don’t know how old she is, but she looks reasonably young still. However, it is unlikely his race had anything to do with it given his predecessor is also Asian.

A couple of other interesting facts, Sherry Chan and Marek (not going to try his last name) both were Chief Actuary in Ohio prior to moving to the role. I believe Marek and Sherry worked together in Ohio so it is very likely she gave her opinion, if she was not directly involved in helping hire her replacement.

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EA has virtually no bearing on or even relationship to public plans. It is literally a designation to sign DOL & IRS filings. Many public plan actuaries have both for a wide variety of reasons but if you have only practiced in the public space there is not a compelling reason to get it.


Unpopular opinion. Craig is a fellow. Chu is an associate. I think it’s pretty reasonable to expect that at this level, fellowship is a minimum requirement. It certainly is for lots of jobs IMO. X years experience is not equal to X-y years of experience + fellowship, particularly after enough years. In other words, yeah, hiring a 19 year experienced FSA over a 33 year experienced ASA makes sense in a lot of positions.

The extra education almost certainly (source: statistics) means that their experience is different. FSA’s even early in their careers are likely to have different experience than ASA’s. They don’t follow the same career path.

Plus, the guy already worked there by the looks of it. So his experience is for sure more relevant than the guy that got hired.

Smells like nepotism to me, and a perfectly valid reason to smack the state in court.

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ah, okay. it looks like he has only practiced in the public space in looking at his bio on the directory. i’m just not used to that as my company does work with public pensions, but also private pensions, so all the signers are EA’s.

that isn’t true in pensions.

in private pensions, the EA is the qualifier, not ASA vs FSA. FSA is kinda just for extra flair. The FSA’s are often better at their jobs than ASA’s just by virtue of having the ability to get through those exams, but not always.

in public sector, EA isn’t required apparently, but that doesn’t mean that FSA trumps ASA.

Not just unpopular, but completely wrong. Particularly in the pension space.

Career ASA :wink:


Please explain this one for me. How is this even remotely related to nepotism?

And just to add to my prior post re experience, Marek held the exact same role the prior Chief Actuary (Sherry Chan) had before she moved to NY and it appears she was sufficiently qualified when she got hired.

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I think “nepotism” in the sense of “it’s not what you know but who you know” as a criteria when considering who to hire.

I can buy that, but only if we ignore the fact that Chu worked there and the person who got the job did not.

Well I stand corrected on pensions. I know nothing about pensions and dont figure I’m likely to start learning now.

That’s what I was referring to. That the person that was hired came from the same place as the last person that was hired. Entirely speculative of course, bit possible.