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By Marc-André Belzil, FCIA

The CIA’s Research Committee is overseeing just over 15 research projects in such areas as individual life insurance, individual annuities, segregated funds, pension plans, group insurance and living benefits. Several are expected to be finalized and approved in 2011, including:
  • Individual Annuitant Mortality Study for 2005–2006 (Q1);
  • Individual Life Mortality Study for 2008–2009 (Q2);
  • Critical Illness Research-based Morbidity Study (Q1);
  • Private Pension Plans Mortality Study (Q4);
  • CPP/QPP Mortality Study—Phase 2 (Q1);
  • Group LTD Termination Rates Study (Q2).
Also, new projects are in the pipeline. The Individual Life Experience Subcommittee recently sent a submission request for a study on lapse rates of T10 at renewal. A submission for the project on development of guidance on going concern margins in actuarial reports for registered pension plans will be prepared shortly. In addition, our committee has just approved the launch of a study on workers’ compensation for occupational diseases, which should be useful in light of the revised Standards of Practice with regard to valuation. We believe these projects will be of benefit to CIA members and the profession at large.

The Research Committee is also sponsoring activities in partnership with other organizations. For example, we have teamed up with the International Actuarial Association (IAA) to help produce a monograph on discount rate issues. Another good example of partnership involves the funding of the second survey on retirement risk conducted by Ipsos Reid, for which the CIA leveraged work by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) in the U.S. The results of the first survey were released in 2010 and garnered some of the most intense media coverage that the CIA has ever known, as well as a great deal of interest at the highest levels of government.

We are always on the lookout for new project ideas. In fact, we have nearly 25 ideas that came from you. Research Committee members will be following up with those who submitted them to gain a better understanding of the specific needs relating to the activity sector in question. Some of these ideas will eventually form the basis of research projects that will benefit the profession as a whole.

To accomplish all of this, the support of the research subcommittees and their volunteers is of the utmost importance. To that end, our committee is seeking a new chair for the Segregated Fund Experience Subcommittee. We are also looking to set up a Property & Casualty Research Subcommittee, and will be in touch with a number of you very soon in the hopes of recruiting volunteers for it.

If you’d like to contribute to one of our dynamic research subcommittees, if you have questions on our ongoing projects or if you’d like to discuss ideas for other projects, please feel free to contact me at Mbelzil@rgare.ca. I would be pleased to talk with you.

Marc-André Belzil, FCIA, is the Chair of the Research Committee.

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