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Recent MSC Activities

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By Marc-André Melançon, FCIA

 As we are slowly approaching the 2012 CIA Annual Meeting and the ensuing summer period, let me share with you some recent developments at the Member Services Council (MSC) and its various subcommittees.

Member Listening Group

The CIA director of communications and public affairs, Les Dandridge, has written very eloquently in these pages about this new volunteer group that will play a uniquely important role in providing invaluable and very timely feedback to the CIA. I would urge you to read the article to learn more about it.

Communication Developments

As indicated in my last report on the MSC activities, there are a number of ideas being developed to improve—modernize!—some of our approaches for communicating with you, the members.

At a recent meeting in November 2011, the Board gave the MSC the mandate of proposing a strategy for communicating to various groups of stakeholders; for example: actuarial university students, regulators, employers of actuaries, and pension consultants. The communication strategy had to be looked at from the standpoint of both the message (e.g., "How are we relevant to investment consultants?") and the preferred approach we could use to reach each type of stakeholder (newsletters, social media, or e-mail?).

The MSC submitted its report to the Board in March 2012 and it has been well received, generating very good discussions. The Board has mandated the MSC to develop further the approaches for "new entrants to" (future members of) the CIA, more specifically the university actuarial students. We invite you to share your ideas on this topic.

Social Media

As the modes of communication are changing and diversifying, the CIA is mindful of the need to adapt to these new tools—and the electronic toys coming with them. You may have noticed that the CIA is now active on Twitter and its number of followers has been increasing very steadily since its inception in March. It is noteworthy that a very significant number of them are non-CIA members.

CIA Website Modernization

Since the website project was launched about two years ago, the MSC and the Secretariat have faced a number of challenges in moving it forward. In light of the budget allocated, we are trying to build a new, robust, and modern website on a not-as-current IT infrastructure. The project requires significant resources: page layout development, improvement to the search engine, creation of search indexes for the multitude of CIA documents, etc.

The project manager and the Secretariat are reviewing the working plan as well as the IT infrastructure. While we cannot provide you with a definite answer on what we can expect as a result, we sincerely hope to be make further progress again soon.

Research Projects

I am pleased to report progress on the following research projects:
  • Annuitant mortality experience studies: the study covering the years 2007–2009 is expected to be published in the second quarter of 2012, while the 2010 study would follow in the third quarter.
  • Individual life mortality study 2009–2010: the report has suffered slight delays but should be released in the third quarter of 2012.
  • Individual life term lapse study: this project is on track and should be published around year end 2012. Nine insurance companies have already provided experience data for the study, with two more to come.
  • Critical Illness Research-Based Morbidity Study: this project has been tackled exclusively by CIA members, who volunteered their time to move forward this complex project, a first for the CIA (and maybe in North America?). Based broadly on medical statistics from the general population, this project is expected to come to a conclusion with a research paper due by the end of June 2012.
  • Private Pension Mortality Study: the findings on this study will be presented at the next June 2012 CIA Annual Meeting. The actual report will follow in the third quarter of 2012.
The CIA is always listening to its members. Please share with us any good, pertinent research project ideas!

Actuarial Networking Group

This new group has now been formed to encourage exchanges among university students and other individuals who do not meet the eligibility criteria for membership, but who are interested in maintaining good contact with the CIA.
Marc-André Melançon, FCIA, is Chair of the Member Services Council.  

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