Member Services Council: Are We on Target?


By Marc Tardif, FCIA

As Chair of the MSC, I inherited a mandate and a strong team of council and committee members. After a little more than a year, I thought it was time to see how we are doing against our mandate and here are my thoughts.

Play an Active Part in the Public Dialogue

We believe actuaries have something to say when it comes to understanding and quantifying future financial contingencies and risks. The general public and governmental organizations are prepared to listen. The Committee on Public Positions (PPC) has been scanning the environment to identify topics where the CIA should have a public position. It is now in the phase of prioritizing and will soon be assigning production tasks. In the meantime, the PPC has been very active in reviewing the responses of the CIA to many hot topics, such as the funding of defined benefit pension plans for municipal employees in Québec, the proposed Ontario Registered Pension Plan, the proposed insurance contribution amendments at the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec, and the Government of Ontario’s consultation on climate change.

The Climate Change and Sustainability Committee has also spoken out by preparing a public position: Natural Disasters, Climate Changes, and Insurance Premiums. This committee also organized the Climate Change and Sustainability Forum that took place in Toronto this month.

Provide Valuable Services to our Members

The Research Committee continues to deliver many valuable reports to our members. Earlier this year, it released an analysis of claims due to occupational diseases, which will serve our members practising in workers’ compensation. Members should expect the imminent release of a report on lapse experience for T100 and universal life policies with a level cost of insurance. The committee has reached out to many practice areas, seeking new areas of research. This has forced it to set criteria enabling it to prioritize the projects.

As I see the opportunity to volunteer as a two-way street (bringing value to the CIA while giving the volunteer an opportunity to improve leadership skills), I commend the work done by the Committee on Volunteer Initiatives (recently renamed the Volunteer Management and Development Committee), which, with the assistance of the Head Office, has completed the revision of the Volunteer Applicant Registry, making it much easier for members to apply to join committees or councils that interest them. The committee has started work on developing tools and programs that would assist members in taking on greater leadership roles within the profession. It is also working in cooperation with the New Members Committee to encourage younger members to volunteer.

Promote the Actuarial Profession

Contributing to the promotion of the actuarial profession, the PPC prepared two papers that were presented to the federal parties to be considered in their upcoming election platform. One dealt with pension topics, suggesting among several points that the Government of Canada appoint a national pensions champion to work with the provinces to secure better pensions for all Canadians. The second suggested that the federal government encourage Canadians to exercise daily, which will reduce the costs of Medicare. Seeing Beyond Risk, targeting private- and public-sector leaders and elected representatives, released a new edition in January: "Insurers’ Insights: Fighting Fraud with Data".

If you have any questions or comments to make on the work of the MSC, or if you are interested in joining us, do not hesitate to contact me at

Marc Tardif, FCIA, is the Chair of the Member Services Council.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires