A Big First, and Elections Just Around the Corner

By Jacques Lafrance, FCIA
CIA President

Mortality of Canadian pensioners

I would like to draw your attention to the release of the Institute’s final report containing the very first mortality tables and mortality improvement scales based on the Canadian pensioner mortality experience. The information provided by this study will help Canadian actuaries offer their clients an even more reliable set of calculations and estimates.

The path to completing this study was not an easy one. The obstacles lying in our way were overcome thanks to a strong contribution by a number of volunteers. I’d like to offer them my sincere thanks.


The elections to choose the Institute’s leadership are almost upon us. The positions of President-elect and four Directors will be up for election.

I know that some very capable members of our profession are hesitant to throw their hat in the ring because a Director’s workload might seem somewhat daunting. It is my opinion, however, that a Director’s functions constitute a relatively modest commitment in terms of hours spent—one that any, or just about any, actuary can handle. In addition to helping advance our profession, ensuring the Institute’s sound governance, and carrying out its strategic plan, an Institute directorship can be a most rewarding experience from a personal standpoint. It allows you to refine or put in practice your managerial and human relations competencies, as well as learning more about the issues facing the actuarial profession. I can tell you right now that my first term as Director a few years ago made me a more complete professional. My employer and my clients benefited, and continue to benefit, from the fruits of this experience.

As for the Institute presidency, I won’t deny that the effort involved is greater. But what I will say is that the Board of Directors and my recent predecessors have adopted measures to lighten the President’s workload, through such means as increased reliance on delegation and better distribution of tasks. Moreover, the President can count on the tireless support of the Executive Director and his team, as well as the assistance of the other members of the Board.

Is it worth the effort? Yes, absolutely! To date my experience as President has been fantastic and extremely enjoyable. In fact, it far exceeds the expectations I had when I decided to run for the post. My above remarks about the importance and benefits of being a Director apply as well to the presidency, but to the power of three! And then there is the unique experience that serving as President represents in terms of relations with the other actuarial associations, government, oversight bodies, and, of course, the media. This part of the job has its challenges, to be sure, but it makes the presidency all the more attractive and interesting. After all, where’s the satisfaction in doing a job if there are no challenges?

So, maybe your time has come. If you’re thinking about running, feel free to contact the Elections Committee. Its members include a past President and a past Director who will be pleased to fill you in on the responsibilities of these posts and the benefits they can represent.

Happy elections! 

Jacques Lafrance, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.



Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires