News from the Newly Formed International Relations Council

By Micheline Dionne, FCIA

In a month, I will be leaving the International Relations Council (IRC) after three and a half years of service at the head of a group that has made significant changes, and not just to its name.

In 2011 it was called the Committee on International Relations (CIR). It had one major focus: regrouping the CIA delegates to the International Actuarial Association (IAA). It chose the delegates and provided a forum for exchange before and after the IAA meetings. In the same year, the CIR formalized the recruitment of delegates and reviewed the terms of their appointment. No longer would the delegate be named for life. Mandates are now for three years with a two-year potential extension, as it takes longer to become fully efficient on international committees than it does on regular committees. At the end of the term, the opening is advertised to the whole membership and a formal interview process is performed. The change in approach democratizes recruitment, ensures there is a healthy turnover, maximizes the commitment of resources, and draws younger actuaries towards international matters.

The second wave of changes involved regrouping under the CIR all the groups dealing with international issues. Two task forces were mandated to respond to the proposed standards from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)—one on insurance accounting and the other on pensions and employee benefits. They reported to both the Practice Council and the CIR, but the council and committee each assumed that the task forces were managed by the other group. The reporting relationship is now clearly defined under the IRC, and other committees have been added: one on insurance regulations to respond to requests from the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and other international regulatory bodies, and another focusing on participation with the IAA, to fulfil the original mandate of the CIR.

The council structure that has been in place since June allows for the same level of oversight over international activities as there is for the other three councils regarding their areas of responsibility. We make quarterly reports to the Board and are part of the planning activities and risk management.

In the last 12 months, the Committee on CIA Participation to the IAA has attended two international meetings of the IAA, with delegates present at all strategic sessions. Each delegate is responsible for completing a report on the sessions attended, focusing on their relevance to the CIA and any action required by the Institute.

The Committee on International Insurance Accounting provided comments to the IAA on the statement of intent (SOI) of an international standard of actuarial practice (ISAP) for insurance contracts (IFRS 4) and to the IASB on its conceptual framework paper and its exposure draft of IFRS 4.

The Committee on International Insurance Regulations commented to the IAIS on its two consecutive papers on Basic Capital Requirements (BCR) and to the IAA on the SOI for ISAP 7, which is intended to support the IAIS BCR.

The Committee on International Pension and Employee Benefits Standards commented on the exposure draft of the IAA ISAP on pension and employee benefits (IAS 19) and on its recent final revision.

In addition, a drafting team of enterprise risk management (ERM) experts has been formed to respond to the SOI on two standards proposed by the IAA on ERM matters.

As I leave my role as chair of IRC, I am proud of the involvement of CIA members on the international scene and I am confident that Dave Pelletier as its incoming chair will help push our involvement to new levels.

Micheline Dionne, FCIA, is Chair of the International Relations Council.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires