Bruce Gaffney assists employers in the design and administration of retirement plans and other benefit programs. Bruce’s clients include health care systems, educational institutions, for profit corporations, and non-profit organizations of all sizes.

Bruce is an actuary with extensive experience in the design, funding, compliance, and administration of qualified defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans. He provides advice on unusual and complex matters, performs traditional actuarial valuation services, and consults on day-to-day plan functions. He provides similar assistance with post-retirement medical programs, including accounting valuations. He also has extensive experience in the design and analysis of executive compensation programs and non-qualified retirement plans, including SERPs, QSERPs, deferred compensation plans, and split-dollar arrangements. He has consulted with large organizations in the selection of an outsourcer to administer their retirement programs and in the selection of a firm to provide actuarial services. Recently, he has assisted a number of plan sponsors with analyses of cash balance plans, and related discussions with the IRS in connection with their review of such plans.

Prior to joining Ropes & Gray in 1997, Bruce was a consultant and actuary at a large national consulting firm for more than eleven years. In addition, he coordinated the actuarial and technical training program for the actuarial practice in his local office.


  • Complex Compliance Matters: Helps plan sponsors resolve compliance matters involving actuarial issues or requiring complex mathematical analysis. Recent projects included assisting clients in correcting violations of Code section 415, analysis of accrual rules for cash balance plans, and assessing the performance of split-dollar life insurance policies used to fund executive benefits.
  • Executive Compensation: In conjunction with attorneys in the firm’s benefits practice, Bruce assists clients in the design and implementation of supplemental executive retirement plans and individual executive employment agreements. This work includes complex actuarial costing, as well as analysis of taxation, income reporting, and Form 990 disclosure.
  • Traditional Actuarial Services: Regularly serves as the actuary for qualified defined benefit plans and retiree health and welfare programs - determining cash costs, calculating accounting expense, assisting in preparation of government forms, and assisting with routine plan administration.

Areas of Practice