Janet Barr

I love the people I work with. I consider them all friends and have met most of their families.

We have at least two social events every year where we all get together and we have celebrations for anniversaries. Even though Milliman is a large international company, it feels more like a small family firm.

I work on the funding and administration of defined benefit pension plans.

My clients are corporations, municipal governments, and multi-employer plan trustees. I advise clients on the administration of their pension plans and I perform calculations that require actuarial values.

We have a beautiful office. We work in one of the most impressive buildings in Chicago and it’s fun to work in such a lovely environment.

There are 12 of us in the Chicago pension actuarial practice. I’m one of six senior consultants, and we have four actuarial analysts and two administrative assistants.

Milliman has allowed me to work an 80% schedule, which has allowed me to balance my work and family responsibilities.

My family life keeps me very busy. I’ve been involved in local government issues for the past 10 years or so and I was recently elected to be a park commissioner in my town. I love to travel and will be going to Germany with my family this summer. I read, do puzzles, sew, and do craft projects. I also teach Sunday school and am involved with the women's group at my church.

One of the first steps in managing risks is to identify and measure risk, and the tools one needs to achieve this are at the heart of the actuarial trade.

Milliman's peer review program and risk oversight is exceptional. It allows us to work with and learn from the most qualified consultants in the firm. We provide our clients with the highest quality of consulting services.

Actuaries from Milliman traditionally serve valuable roles in the national actuarial community.

I’m currently serving on the Social Insurance Committee for the American Academy of Actuaries. Although I am very interested in our Social Security program, I think that one of the main reasons that I was asked to join the committee was because of Milliman's reputation in the actuarial community.

When I was in college I pictured myself as Mary Tyler Moore working in an office with a group of interesting characters.

I grew up in South Dakota and went to South Dakota State University. After graduating with a math major, I went to the University of Nebraska and spent a year in the graduate program in Actuarial Science. I am now an Associate in the Society of Actuaries and I am an Enrolled Actuary. I wanted to work in an office in a big city, and now I do. But I'm not sure I could have pictured the technology that we would be using or the speed of business.

My first job out of college was as an actuary for the Railroad Retirement Board here in Chicago.

I worked there for about four years before going to work for a large national consulting firm as a pension actuary. While there I met and worked with four of the five senior consultants that I currently work with. I spent a short time working in Minneapolis with another actuarial firm as a pension actuary but then got married and moved back to my former employer in Chicago and spent 22 years with my previous firm before coming to Milliman.

The work I do matters.

I believe that defined benefit pension plans are the best vehicle for providing retirement security to employees. Promoting retirement security for thousands or millions of Americans is the most significant outcome of my work.

Tips for success.

In addition to the normal mathematical skills, if you can quickly and concisely explain complex technical information and tell a good joke, you can be a very successful actuarial consultant. Of course, you still need to pass your exams.

Why Milliman?

If I were talking to a prospect, I’d tell them that our peer review and risk oversight processes allow us to provide the highest quality of consulting services. We have very bright people in our firm and our processes encourage and allow them to share best practices and knowledge with the entire company.

If I were talking to a job candidate, I’d tell them that they will get to work on a wide variety of projects and have as many opportunities as they want. At Milliman, you’ll get to work with very smart people and have a balance between you work life and personal life.