April's Video Update

To view the video, click on the image above, or click here. Below is a transcript.

Hello, everyone. My name is Jacques Tremblay and I am President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. This is my message for April to May of 2015.

Spring has sprung and to help kick things off or celebrate, the Practice Education Course, or PEC, is being offered May 24–27 in Ottawa. After years of study and exam writing, the target is in sight: Fellowship with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. And what a worthy goal it is! I want to wish all candidates at the PEC the best of luck in their preparation for their exam!

We also have an important survey in the field at the moment, on our University Accreditation Program or UAP. The survey is focused on gauging member awareness and opinions on the UAP. I encourage every member to take a few minutes to participate.

In addition to the PEC and UAP news I have two main topics for this update. The first concerns the work of a new and important body at the CIA: the Committee on Public Positions or PPC. The second is an update on the recent IAA meetings in Zürich and the bilateral meetings we worked on at that meeting.

For the past 10 years, the CIA had a very good policy regarding the process for public positions to be processed and approved. But in the name of continuous improvement we felt it was time for a review and update.

The review was conducted in early 2014, and the new policy was approved by the Member Services Council last summer. In November, CIA past President Mike Hale volunteered to chair the PPC and his group has been busy ever since.

The purpose of a public position is to establish and document the views of the Institute. They can take the form of a submission or an opinion letter to an external audience. They are helpful in drafting press releases, preparing for media interviews, or corresponding with an external body on a topic for which the CIA has a position.

The PPC is very involved in applying the policy appropriately in its work, but it has also been focusing on another aspect of its mandate. The committee is tasked with conducting continual scans to ensure that appropriate positions are in place for topics of currency or those on the near horizon. Recently the PPC met to discuss future positions and we expect to hear more from it soon.

In December, following a meeting with MP Ted Hsu, the PPC decided the CIA should create several public positions to present to the federal parties, with our recommendation that they be included in their election platforms.

The CIA’s manager of government relations and communications, Elliot Hughes, worked with several committees to create documents to present to the PPC, which subsequently approved two platform positions. The first, from the Health Committee, which is chaired by Pierre-Yves Julien, calls on the Government of Canada to incentivize Canadians to dedicate 30 minutes a day to physical activity as the first step in addressing the country’s rocketing healthcare costs. The second position, from the Pension Advisory Committee, which is chaired by Michel St-Germain, recommended the appointment of a national pensions champion who could work with the provinces to develop a national strategy to secure better pensions for all Canadians within a system that is simple, efficient, flexible, and transparent. The PPC went through its process and approved both positions.

The CIA has met with the Prime Minister’s Office to present the positions and is scheduling meetings with those responsible for the election platform for the NDP and Liberal parties.

Finally, the PPC approved a public position developed by the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, chaired by Karen Lockridge. The title is Climate Change and Sustainability—Risk, Financial Impacts, and the Work of Actuaries. I encourage members to read the short version as well as the election platform documents.

Turning to the recent meeting of the International Actuarial Association, or IAA, in Zürich, there are a couple of aspects to touch on. One, the IAA meetings themselves, and two, as many actuarial associations attend these meetings, we take the opportunity to meet with several with which we are working on a variety of projects.

In Zürich, John Maroney from the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, or IAIS, commented on the Insurance Capital Standard consultative document released in January. There were 55 responses covering 1,300 non-confidential pages. The IAIS is compiling and consolidating replies, which will be available on the public portion of its website shortly. The IAIS will launch field testing at the end of this month and 33 internationally active insurance groups will participate. The IAIS will host public stakeholder meetings in the first two weeks of May. The IAIS recognizes that professional interaction with the IAA is very important, and input from the IAA and other organizations is welcome. Consultation on the high loss absorbency, or HLA, requirements will begin the last week of June. The HLA requirements will be presented to the Financial Stability Board in the fall. There remains a strong push by the board and the G20 to complete and implement an insurance capital standard by 2019.

Much progress has been made on a risk book by the IAA Insurance Regulation Committee. The committee discussed the elements of each of 11 topics. The chapters are: Catastrophe Risk, Operational Risk, Risk Management and Regulation – Practical Views, Capital, Non-proportional Reinsurance, Group, ORSA-ERM, Stress Testing, Actuarial Function, Standards, and Model Governance. The next step for the committee is to finalize three to six topics by the end of June, with the rest to be completed in time for review in Vancouver in the fall. The committee also approved the release of the paper Deriving Value from the ORSA – Board Perspective.

The IAA Council approved the Final International Standard of Actuarial Practice on Employee Benefits for release.

The education committee provided an update on the new International Education Syllabus being developed. There is more to come on this topic at the Vancouver meeting, but a lot of good work is being done by talented people worldwide on this topic.

In addition, the CIA held bilateral meetings in Zürich with the American Academy of Actuaries, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Society of Actuaries, Actuarial Society of South Africa, Australian Institute of Actuaries, and Casualty Actuarial Society. Very good discussions were held on how to provide enhanced continuing professional development opportunities to our members, on criminal and medical investigations, and on a banking syllabus, to name only a few subjects. We, the CIA, have great relationships with our actuarial counterparts worldwide and meeting face-to-face at these international conferences only enhances our mutual collaborations.

The CIA renewed its mutual recognition agreement with the Australian Institute of Actuaries while in Zürich. The document was approved by the CIA Board at our March meeting.

So, yet another busy month for CIA staff and volunteers! But the collaborative and cooperative environment helps ensure we produce excellent work that we are all proud of!

Keep in mind that if you have comments about any of the topics I have covered in this update, you can connect with me at jacques.tremblay@cia-ica.ca.

And finally, a reminder that we are less than two months away from the CIA 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting and Gala Celebration. Registration is active and hotel accommodations are going fast. Please take a look at the program and make plans to attend!

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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires