Reach Out in the Right Way

One element of the CIA’s Strategic Objectives is to be "widely recognized by the Canadian public as the leading contributor to dialogue, analysis, and solutions in all areas related to understanding and quantification of future financial contingencies and risks."

One way to do this is to suggest to CIA members that they reach out to Canadians through op-eds (short articles that typically are published on the opinion/editorial pages of newspapers) and other articles on topics of importance to Canadians and Canada. Retirement savings, health care, longevity, climate change risk, and other subjects offer good opportunities for members to share their thoughts and expertise. As examples, articles by CIA members Rob Brown and Fred Vettese regularly appear in publications across the country.

Several years ago, the Institute created the Op-ed Team with the goal of bringing together actuaries who have the required technical expertise and experience and an interest in writing such articles, and who were keen to work with local media outlets to have them published. This team is also primed to assist anyone in preparing an article.

Recently, some actuaries asked how they could position themselves within these documents in order to accomplish the objective above and adhere to CIA policies and the Rules of Professional Conduct, in particular Rule 13.

The CIA’s Policy on the Use of CIA Membership Titles and Designations defines who can use the term "actuary" and when the use of titles such as "Chair of X Committee" and "FCIA/FICA" is permitted.

Unless a member is speaking on behalf of the CIA, members who chair or sit on a CIA committee cannot use a title that is related to that committee. So, a personal op-ed can’t come from, for example, "Joseph Frugh, Chair of the Health Research Committee".

However, FCIAs can say that they are actuaries and can use their designations. So, Joseph could sign an op-ed as "Joseph Frugh, FCIA, pension actuary", without fear of violating any CIA policies or the Rules of Professional Conduct, even if the article does not conform to Generally Accepted Actuarial Practices.

With these rules in mind, free your professional and creative talents and start explaining complicated and important concepts in simple ways through a well-crafted op-ed!

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires