HR Benefits Firm, Buck actuary named “Rising Star 2021”

Maria Simmers recognized as young leader in the benefits industry


Buck, an integrated HR and benefits consulting, technology, and administration services firm, today announced that Maria Simmers, a Senior Consultant and Pension Actuary, has been named as a “Rising Star 2021” by Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Adviser.

Simmers is among a group of standout young professionals in the benefits industry who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to tackling wellness, healthcare, and other benefit offerings, bringing a new perspective to their work while navigating through the COVID-19 crisis. She was highlighted as a 2021 Rising Star for her deep knowledge of pension plan funding and special accounting rules, along with her dedication to her clients and colleagues.

As the signing actuary for a Fortune 50 client with over $1B in assets and liabilities in their defined benefit plans, Simmers works on plan spin-offs, CAS curtailments, plan mergers, and union negotiations. Her analysis of changing asset methods and plan assumptions have helped Buck’s clients make important strategic decisions.

“Maria works on some of Buck’s most complicated plans and special projects which require a deep understanding of funding and special accounting rules that challenge even the most experienced actuaries,” said Tonya Manning, Wealth Practice Leader and Chief Wealth Actuary. “Her calm presence and do-whatever-it-takes attitude have helped clients manage through the pandemic with a strategic approach to benefits changes. We’re thrilled to see Maria’s work and her commitment to the industry recognized by Employee Benefits News.”

Simmers is a member of Buck’s Office of the Chief Actuary, a select group who have top technical knowledge and strong consulting skills. Her professional designations include ASA, EA, and MAAA. She’s also a member of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries (CCA), and the Government Contracting Center of Excellence, a group of actuaries recognized as experts in the special rules and cost accounting standards used for government contractor plans.

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