David I Gensler is the president of Madison Pension Services, Inc., an actuarial and employee benefits consulting firm, which specializes in custom designed plans for small and mid-sized companies. Established in 1978, Gensler was a founding principal of the firm and has over forty years of consulting experience in qualified retirement plans.
Gensler is an Enrolled Actuary and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), and the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries. Considered a leading expert in the field of qualified retirement plans, Gensler is a frequent lecturer and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the NY Times and Crain’s Business. Articles that he has written have been published in CFO magazine, the Westchester Business Journal, the CPA Journal, and various other financial journals.
Gensler has served as the co-chair of the ASPPA Government Affairs Committee. This committee worked with both the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor in shaping significant legislation that touches all aspects of qualified retirement plans. He’s spoken numerous times before the New York State Society of CPA’s on various topics related to qualified plans. He has taught several courses for ASPPA on employee benefits and he recently served on the board of ASPPA’s New York Chapter of its Benefits Council. Gensler writes a monthly newsletter that takes an eclectic look at all things retirement that is widely read by CPA’s, chief financial officers and human resource managers.
- B.A., Lehman College
- Enrolled Actuary, Joint Board of Enrolled Actuaries – EA
- Member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries – MSPA
- Member of the American Academy of Actuaries – MAAA
- ASPPA Member of the College of Pension Actuaries – ACOPA
What is the best professional advice someone gave you that you still live by today?
When I was offered the opportunity to be a founding member of Madison, I went to my Dad for advice. He had grown up during the Depression and I was certain that he would tell me what I wanted to hear – “You have a good job. Stay where you are.” I did not picture myself running a business (any business). Instead, he said the opposite – “You can always work for someone, this is a unique opportunity. You must do this.” I learned that what might be a problem for one person would be perceived by another person as an opportunity. And do not ask someone for advice if all you want to hear from them is merely to validate what you already think.
How did you come to work in this field?
When I got out of college I had no real direction as to what to do. Math has always came easy to me but I had no idea as to what I might do with it. I had a job interview with a company called Pension Planners of Baltimore. They did the NFL’s pension plan and as a sports fan, I thought that was really cool. As part of the interview process, they gave me a math test. They informed me that I got the highest score on their math test of anyone that ever took it. I had no experience, so they decided not to hire me. However, now at least I had a direction that I could follow (the actuarial path). Before that, I didn’t even know what an actuary was or that the field of retirement plan consulting even existed.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
I love to read non-fiction. Gardening in our vegetable garden is really relaxing and fun. I love golf (not play it, I am too terrible for that). But the skill that it takes to master that sport and compete week in and week out with the best players in the world is something that I really respect. I have even been to the Masters (which I heard is the toughest ticket in sports). I am a die hard Giants fan and “bleed Giants blue.”