Research Committee: Your Opportunity to Participate


Marc-André Belzil, left, and Dave Dickson

By Marc-André Belzil and Dave Dickson, both FCIAs

The Research Committee is a very important CIA committee and provides opportunities for members to participate in various ways. It is always looking for new recruits and new ideas, and you could help.

But first, some background. The committee is responsible for the CIA’s research, and has an annual budget of about $300,000. Beneath it are a number of subcommittees representing the major practice areas, like life, pension, property and casualty, and group. Consequently, a large number of people are involved with the committee’s activities. As well as developing ideas for research projects and evaluating proposals from members and other sources, they work with other organizations to jointly sponsor research projects; for example, they recently helped to sponsor a major paper on climate change. The committee is also starting to sponsor projects that would be of more direct benefit to the Canadian public, such as papers on various health care topics.

The committee manages the usual actuarial research projects on mortality, critical illness experience, lapse, workers compensation disease, water damage, etc. Usually data are obtained from companies and organizations and sometimes consultants or university professors are contracted to conduct the analysis under the management of a responsible subcommittee, which develops the final report.

Subcommittee members find the work very interesting and as a result of the projects they are involved with, they are on the leading edge of topics from their practice area. As an example, subcommittee members involved with the recent critical illness morbidity experience study gained an in-depth understanding of Canadian experience. The report will be released to our membership but subcommittee members have already developed a very thorough understanding as a result of their efforts. They also benefit from being able to work on a committee with other members from the same field.

The Research Committee plans to be more proactive in reaching out to our members for additional research ideas. We would like to receive more ideas and develop a two- or three-year plan for research projects. As part of this, we want to explore having a space on the CIA’s website where members can submit research ideas and also comment on others’ ideas.

So, how can you participate? In two ways:
Either way it’s an opportunity for you to participate in a very important aspect of the CIA’s work.

Marc-André Belzil and Dave Dickson, both FCIAs, are the Chair and Vice-chair, respectively, of the Research Committee.