CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

December 2013
Elliott Bauer
D.W. Simpson & Company
North American Search Group
Your Institute

By Jacques Lafrance, FCIA
CIA President

You may have noticed that the Institute has recently stepped up its efforts to provide current and future members with training opportunities in the area of professionalism. Here are some examples:

  • At the last Annual Meeting, two sessions dealt specifically with professionalism. A rousing success, they addressed serious questions in a very interactive and entertaining way.
  • In December the Institute offered a webcast on professionalism in English and French that presented fictional (yet realistic) case studies and offered food for thought on ways of instituting professional behaviours.
  • We expanded the Professionalism Workshop (participation in this workshop is a prerequisite for becoming an Associate or Fellow of the Institute) so that it delves more deeply into this subject.
  • Early in 2014 the Institute will hold a half-day session on professionalism and ethics for more senior members. This pilot event will be held in Toronto as a facilitated forum for peer discussion. Watch for more details in January.

In passing, I would like to sincerely thank the volunteers and headquarters staff who helped make these initiatives possible.

I applaud the Institute’s efforts to place a greater emphasis on issues pertaining to professionalism. As a professional organization, the Institute must do more to ensure that its members maintain a high level of professionalism. While our profession is not experiencing serious problems regarding our members’ ethics, we must remain vigilant and promote irreproachable behaviour.

In this regard, I wish to note that the Institute has adopted guiding principles and the first one reads as follows: "In carrying out its activities and programs, the Institute holds the duty of the profession to the public above the needs of the profession and its members." In my opinion, the notion of "holds the duty of the profession to the public above . . ." underscores the priority that the Institute must attach to maintaining a high level of professionalism on the part of its members.

I don’t have time in this article to elaborate on what the responsibility of acting professionally actually entails. But if I may, I’d like to point out a few of the important elements: honesty, courtesy, respect, competence, a desire to do the job right, disclosure of conflicts of interest, clear communication, and proactivity. A simple way of determining whether an action or behaviour corresponds to what a professional would do could be to ask the question: what would a group of people, experts and lay persons alike, think of the professionalism of this action or behaviour?

Naturally, when confronted with a problematic situation that could bring their ethics into question, professionals should not hesitate to ask advice of someone they trust. This could be a lawyer if the gravity or complexity of the situation warrants. The Institute is also at your disposal, particularly when it comes to interpreting our Rules of Professional Conduct and Standards of Practice.

Speaking of our Rules and Standards of Practice, it is clear that Institute members must comply with these. But it is not enough to simply conform to the letter of these documents. As professionals, actuaries must also seek to abide by the spirit of the Rules in their actions and in the advice they give.

Behaving like a professional increases the likelihood of having a successful career, as well as building and maintaining a solid reputation. But beyond a rewarding and fulfilling career, acting with professionalism and honesty affords peace of mind. And you can’t put a price tag on that!

All the best for the holiday season, and I wish you much happiness in 2014. 

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

 
Spotlight

By Bruce Langstroth, FCIA

I’ve written about consistency before but mostly in conjunction with other topics. This month I want to focus on consistency alone.

When I talk about consistency, I’m talking about consistency in practice between different practice areas. Our Standards of Practice describe both general and practice-specific requirements, which take the form of principles and more specific prescriptions. But in neither case do the standards actually require there to be consistency between practice areas. Guidance material—educational notes and research papers—generally focuses on specific practice areas and rarely, if ever, attempts to articulate guidance with respect to multiple practice areas.

The result is that practice within two different fields will be consistent only by accident. To the extent that practice has evolved in different ways and serves fundamentally different purposes, this may be acceptable. But some of those inconsistencies may be difficult for the profession to explain and, in the extreme, may damage its credibility. Important stakeholders may have difficulty believing or understanding how practitioners can come to materially different conclusions.

An example of this issue is mortality improvement. Assumptions regarding rates of mortality and mortality improvements are made within pension, life insurance, actuarial evidence and (possibly) enterprise risk management practice. The purposes for which these assumptions may be used can include pricing, costing, funding, accounting, financial reporting, solvency, regulation, economic capital, and many others. In what circumstances and for what groups is it acceptable to use different assumptions, and where not?

To be more specific, a Canadian life insurer (with a defined benefit pension plan) will make mortality improvement assumptions in relation to its life and health insurance, annuities, and pension plan for the purposes of its own financial reporting. The Actuarial Standards Board has promulgated standards which impose an element of consistency on life and health insurance and annuities but not with respect to those lines of business and pensions. Does it make sense that those assumptions are different and, if so, where and when?

One point of view holds that there is a general underlying trend towards longer lives and that, in the absence of being able to demonstrate that different groups should have different rates of mortality improvement, we should assume the same trend for everyone. Presumably, if we hold this view, we would assess all available information and articulate an appropriate range of mortality improvement for all purposes based on that information.

Another point of view is that different populations can and should exhibit different rates of mortality improvement and that the assumptions ought to reflect those differences. This would imply choosing subsets of available information (that are most applicable to the populations in question) and developing assumptions from that data.

The problem is difficult to resolve because robust, credible data to assess rates of mortality improvement for different groups and reach a defensible conclusion do not exist. We fall short of being able to demonstrate that population mortality improvement is (or is not) different than that of pensioners, insured, annuitants, disabled lives, and other groups. In the absence of those demonstrations, we end up with different assumptions being made by individual practitioners, or groups of practitioners, based on the data and the views that they have brought to the assessment.

This is, of course, the sort of situation that calls for standards or guidance. As the Practice Council looks to 2014 it, and its committees, will be working with the Actuarial Standards Board and other stakeholders to attempt to increase the level of consistency and ensure that we as a profession are able to justify those consistencies that we agree should persist.

Bruce Langstroth, FCIA, is Chair of the Practice Council.

 
MOVERS AND SHAKERS

CIA member Lyna Gendron appointed AVP, pricing and underwriting, group insurance, at Standard Life http://bit.ly/ciaica330.

Elaine Lajeunesse, VP and chief risk officer, insurance, of BMO Financial, discussed the bank's #ERM program on Risk Radio.

 
Institute News



Marc-André Vinson, ACIA

Canadians now have a valuable online tool to help them plan for later life, thanks in part to a member of the CIA, plus the Actuarial Foundation of Canada (AFC).

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) launched its Financial Goal Calculator last month following meetings involving agency staff and CIA Associate Marc-André Vinson. The extensive online tool shows people how to get out of debt, or save for retirement or some other goal, by calculating their current position and needs and providing straightforward advice and answers to financial questions.

The CIA’s involvement followed a request from the AFC, which works to—among other things—advance public understanding of financial and risk-related matters.

Mr. Vinson, national retirement practice leader at Buck Consultants, explained: "The CIA asked me to participate as I had done similar work in the past. The FCAC was trying to build a model integrating financial planning and looking at things like household debt and retirement. There are a lot of retirement modellers about, but not many that combine all those things while showing where savings must be directed.

"The FCAC had had other modellers, and gained really good traction. They had a skeletal version of the new tool, but wanted more meat around the actuarial aspects of it. I reviewed what they had and provided some input on what they needed to be asking while limiting the information they required from the users. That was the first step, and then they built a more elaborate version so that we could kick the tires and try to complete it.

"They had a very good goal, of releasing it in November—Financial Literacy Month. They wanted to hear how people reacted to the tool and used it so they could scale it up in its next iteration. You need to get the views of the user so you can adapt to their needs."

The project was a great and rewarding experience, Mr. Vinson added. "The FCAC sought help where they had weaknesses, and I was glad to be a part of it. It’s definitely something I would be involved in again. Anything we can do to make people more sensitive to retirement topics is worth doing. Most people do not like to get their heads around it, but we can really help."

He said the calculator’s simplicity was the key to its success: "You want people to use it, and if it is too intimidating they will give up. The FCAC have proven they can make it simple enough and useful enough, and we're very happy with it."

Bob Sharkey, Chair of the AFC, said: "The FCAC commissioner thanked the foundation during her speech at the tool launch event. The FCAC’s press release acknowledges the assistance of the AFC and includes a link to its webpage.

"This type of positive portrayal of the AFC and the actuarial profession is an integral part of every program supported by the AFC.

"The FCAC has indicated a strong interest in future collaboration with volunteer actuaries, and the AFC is actively pursuing this prospect. In addition to the FCAC, other leading agencies in the financial literacy arena have been approached and other ideas for collaboration are under review.

"In conclusion, the AFC is working hard on initiatives that hold considerable promise, especially in the field of youth math education and financial literacy, where there is a strong link to the actuarial profession. Together with its ongoing programs, the AFC meets its philanthropic goals and promotes the positive image of the actuarial profession in youth education, financial literacy, and research."

Don’t miss January’s (e)Bulletin for a broader look at the AFC and its work.

 
Appointments
 
Marc Tardif was appointed Chair of the Member Services Council (MSC). He replaces Marc-André Melançon, who leaves with thanks at the end of his term.

Actuarial Standards Oversight Council Revised Terms of Reference
 
The Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the Actuarial Standards Oversight Council (ASOC) are reviewed every three years. The revision undertaken in 2013 resulted in only one material suggested change, which was to add a section on confidentiality similar to that of the Board’s ToRs. The final revised ToRs were approved by ASOC in September and submitted to the Board for final approval, which was granted.

Strategic Thinking Discussion

Promotion/Marketing of FCIA/ACIA Designations

There was strong support from the Board to invest in a program to promote the FCIA and ACIA designations. The CIA Head Office will prepare a marketing plan defining the value of the designations, and roll it out with employers consulted through the Outreach Program. While the focus will primarily be on the Canadian audience, opportunities to increase public recognition of both designations on an international level will not be overlooked.

CIA Action Plan on Banking

The Eligibility and Education Council will explore banking modules in consultation with other countries which offer this program. The marketing plan to highlight the FCIA and ACIA designations will be extended to the banking sector, promoting increased communication while examining what actuaries can bring to the banking table.

CIA Strategic and Operational Plan - Update

The Head Office had further refined the plan, adding linkages between the different strategic areas, and a Strategy Map was presented to Board members. This tool is a graphic representation of the strategic objectives, and the linkages between them and the operational aspect of the plan. A sample weighting exercise, to establish priorities in the short, medium and long terms, was conducted and included in the plan as a demonstration. The Board agreed to form a group that includes Council chairs to work with the Head Office to conduct a more thorough weighting exercise.

SOA/CAS Levy on Non-FCIAs Working in Canada

The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) had offered to apply a levy to its Canada-based members who do not belong to the CIA, in order to support our standards-making and discipline costs. The Society of Actuaries (SOA) was willing to do the same.

The CIA wanted to have a better understanding of the demographic profile of these non-members, and the broader potential implications should such a fee be introduced.

After reviewing the facts and discussing the implications, the Board decided that they would decline the offer at this time.

Potential Changes to Elections Committee and Related Items

The Board’s Governance Committee has given a high priority to considering potential changes that would respond to the concerns raised by the Elections Committee in June 2013 around the difficulty of recruiting candidates. Two alternatives were proposed to the Board:
  • Increased Board participation in the nomination process, which would require Bylaw changes; or
  • Expanding membership of the Elections Committee to include one Past President and one past Director.
The Board supported the second alternative, and Jim Christie and Stephen Bonnar were appointed to the Elections Committee. Their experience and influence will be a valuable addition to its work.

Member Services Council Mandate

As the word "research" is not mentioned in the current Member Services Council (MSC) mandate, and is a vital element of the MSC’s mission, the MSC prepared and adopted a proposed revised mandate which was presented to the Board for approval. The Board agreed in principle to the changes, and subsequently agreed that a bylaw amendment package, streamlining the current bylaw structure with regard to all council references—in particular, removing the detailed council mandates from the Bylaws—be presented to the Board for approval at its March 2014 meeting.

Actuarial Foundation of Canada Annual Report on Activities, Plans, and Finances

The Actuarial Foundation of Canada (AFC) presented its annual report, in accordance with AFC policy, to the CIA Board. An annual reporting date of November is preferable to the prior practice of reporting in June, as it coincides with the Head Office budget-setting exercise.
 
After presenting the ongoing activities and programs, the AFC asked the Board to consider the following:
  • The AFC is a CCA (Canada Corporations Act) Part II corporation, governed by letters patent and bylaws approved by the Minister of Industry. CCA Part II has been replaced by the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. The AFC must file an application for continuance under the NFP Act to Industry Canada by October 17, 2014, to avoid dissolution, and this governance change requires CIA approval as per AFC bylaws.
  • That the legal costs incurred to apply for continuance under the NFP Act be covered by the CIA as "in kind" support under the CIA-AFC services agreement.
  • Resumption of CIA financial support in 2014.
The Board approved the elimination of the CIA-related provisions in the AFC’s Bylaws and the proposed continuation of the AFC under the NFP Act, and agreed to consider continued financial support when preparing the budget.

Executive Director Report

A new section on media requests and coverage was included in the Executive Director’s report to the Board. It generated much interest, and it was decided that more frequent reporting on media coverage, ideally on a monthly basis, be circulated to Board members.

Practice Council Annual Report on Activities

The Practice Council’s Chair, Bruce Langstroth, presented an overview of the activities and top-of-mind issues, among which are:
  • Pension Mortality—a final research report is expected in January or February;
  • The council is looking to recruit a member from property and casualty insurance;
  • Manuel Monteiro has been named as the new Chair of the Committee on Pension Plan Financial Reporting; and
  • Due process is a continuing challenge, i.e., finding a balance between rigor and getting the material out.
Secretary-Treasurer's Report

The Secretary-Treasurer, John Dark, presented his report and the Board approved the second-quarter financial statements. The discussion focused on setting priorities for the coming year’s budget, and the Board agreed to increase the research budget and keep any increase of membership fees to a minimum.
 

By Marcia Gallos, FCIA

As we are all hustling and bustling getting ready for the holiday season, I am reminded of how difficult it is to make time for all the things I find important, like volunteering. Below, I’ve presented some small tips for what works for me (most of the time) . . .
 
In the new year, I will resume profiling our more decorated volunteers. But, in the interim, here are some key statistics about those who have been successful fitting in helping out with the CIA.

Best wishes to all for a merry holiday season and safe and happy new year!

Key Statistics – CIA Volunteer Awards

The CIA volunteer awards program was established in 2000, and since the program’s inception, the Institute has presented:

  • 58 gold awards;
  • 227 silver awards; and
  • 549 bronze awards.

Did you know? Producing the awards ceremony, accompanying brochure, and recipient list is a task conducted annually by a group of dedicated CIA Head Office staff and the Committee on Volunteer Initiatives. The exercise takes a couple of months and includes volunteer service calculations and reviews, award recipient interviews, and the compilation and coordination of the ceremony materials, brochure, and corresponding Annual Meeting luncheon activities.

How Can I Make Time to Volunteer?

There are 8,760 hours in a year (720 hours in a month, 168 hours in a week, 24 hours in a day). Surely it shouldn’t be that hard to give an hour a month. For those familiar with Franklin Covey programming, it’s all about the "Q2" in our lives. In other words, making time for what you find important and fulfilling.

And it’s not enough to just find the work fulfilling; you also have to act. You have to make a conscious decision to create the time in your schedule and make choices.

Some tips that work for me:

  • Accountability: find a "volunteer buddy". Similar to the success model for dieting and exercising, commit to a certain time per month with a friend/colleague, and meet to discuss progress opposite the goal.
  • Routine: make a specific volunteer opportunity a weekly, monthly, or even yearly tradition so it is just as important as a birthday or holiday.
  • Less is more: choose committees and activities that require less of a commitment. When you have a little free time, you can spontaneously decide to participate. Sometimes, that is enough to get the ball rolling, and makes future volunteer opportunities seem less daunting and more manageable.
  • Carpe diem: seize unexpected free time like snow days as opportunities to volunteer. Plan to volunteer on statutory holidays when there is no work.
  • Plan for it: consider taking a volunteer vacation. The next time you take a few days to travel, think about using a portion of your time off to help out.
  • Find your motivation: you are far more likely to make time to volunteer when you care about an issue. Figure out what moves you and you’ll find the time.

Getting Started: All You Have to Do is Say Yes!

  1. Go to the CIA website. Log in to the Members section. On the left-hand-side navigation panel, click on My Profile > My Volunteer Profile > Update Volunteer Profile. Once you’ve completed the Update Volunteer Profile form to indicate your skills, experience, and general interests, go to the Modify My Committee and Task Force Interests form to indicate specific volunteer committees that you are interested in joining.
  2. Press your case. If you have a strong interest in a specific committee, contact the CIA or committee chair. They will be happy to provide you with more information or to invite you to a meeting. You can also gain a feel for what each committee does by visiting the Volunteer Booth at many CIA meetings.
  3. Make it a priority. Understand the time commitment required for the volunteer position and set aside time in your schedule. Communicate any concerns to the committee chair and allow them to help you in assessing whether the opportunity is right for you.
  4. Get your employer on board. In many cases, volunteering can actually bring value to your employer. Many committees might overlap with your work or provide you with valuable training and experience. In many cases, you may be able to designate work time towards volunteering.
  5. Stay tuned. Keep reading the Volunteers’ Corner articles in the (e)Bulletin.
  6. Check out the resources for volunteers in the Volunteer Centre on the CIA website.

Marcia Gallos, FCIA, is Chair of the New Members Committee, former chair of the Committee on Volunteer Initiatives, and a member of the Member Services Council.

 

 

By David Congram, FCIA

Thinking of a special book to put on your wish list for the holidays? Discount Rates in Financial Reporting – A Practical Guide may be just the right choice. Its release was communicated to you in the CIA’s weekly announcements on October 30.

Published by the International Actuarial Association (IAA), with the CIA as an enthusiastic supporter and funding provider, this educational monograph addresses the concepts and practical methods that are being used in the application of the discounting process for the purpose of financial reporting for (1) insurance companies, and (2) pension and employee benefits obligations. It provides numerous case studies based on real-life examples as performed globally by actuaries, insurance companies, and pension plan sponsors.

A Practical Guide is the final result of the IAA’s three-year Discount Rate Project. Its primary audiences are those actuaries involved in financial reporting for insurers, those involved in reporting pension information for financial statements, and actuarial students seeking a greater understanding of the topic.

For the busy reader, in the front of the book is a road map, which identifies those sections that may be of special interest to a particular individual. It looks at the monograph from different perspectives. Practice area is a natural categorization (including life, non-life, and pensions and employee benefits), but it also provides guidance if you are coming from a specific accounting framework, region, or risk. It identifies which case studies will probably be of interest. It also allows you to use your time effectively by first focusing on your areas of particular interest and then, when you have time, showing you how other practice areas or regions are addressing a similar problem.

The book first places the selection of the discount rate into context. This is in terms of the purpose and objectives and when discounting is required. After that, it covers a number of topics, including:

  • Risk-free rates;
  • Decomposition of discount rates;
  • Estimating beyond the term period;
  • Replicating portfolios;
  • Incorporating currency and sovereign risks;
  • Credit and liquidity risks; and
  • Addressing when product cash flows are correlated to the discount rate.

There is also a section on communication and presentation of results, with a concluding section summarizing recent developments. There are extensive references to relevant technical papers for those who wish to dig deeper on a particular aspect.

Nearly two-thirds of A Practical Guide’s 300-odd pages are devoted to 13 in-depth case studies. To provide you with some idea of the studies included, the first is on estimation and extrapolation of the term structure of interest rates. It is an example of the understanding, selection, and use of available data necessary to establish a discount rate in an environment in which an observable market does not exist.

The last study addresses sovereign risk. It provides an example of how to assess it and understand how it may be modelled for including in the discount rate. This issue has created a number of challenges over the last few years, given the current world economic structure and trading groups.

Information about how to order your copy of Discount Rates in Financial ReportingA Practical Guide may be found on the IAA’s website (www.actuaries.org). The price for a hard-bound copy, including access to a searchable electronic version, is $150. The electronic text alone is $75. In keeping with the IAA’s educational mandate, university students with appropriate documentation may access the electronic copy for free.

The IAA extends its thanks to all members of the CIA for their support of the Discount Rate Project and other actuarial education initiatives.

The CIA has arranged a special discount for you: all you need to do is log in as a member on the IAA website and order your book. The discount will then be applied.

David Congram, FCIA, is a member of the Committee on International Relations, and a member of the IAA Executive.

 

 

Harish Pawagi

1. Why did you become an actuary?

In high school I was good at subjects involving math—calculus, physics, etc.—and was looking for something math related. An actuary visited our high school and I was able to visit a family friend at work who was an actuary. I got to talk to his co-op student, who really enjoyed her current job and her program at university. So off I went to become an actuary!

2. When you tell people you’re an actuary, what do they think you do?

They know we’re number crunchers and we’re really good at math. Some of the more savvy people complain about their premium rates.

3. Who has inspired you the most during your career? Did you have a mentor in your early career?

Early in my career when I was with Equitable Life, I had a chance to work with Ron Beaubien, the Appointed Actuary. Exposure to his attention to detail and his knowledge of the entire company’s operation were a great starting point for a young actuarial student.

4. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy helping our clients—whether it's with timely information and advice or the challenge of new calculations or new ways of doing things.

5. What career would you follow if you weren’t an actuary?

Nuclear physicist—at least that was one of the plans in high school. Now it would likely be in the performing arts.

6. What are your hobbies?

Collecting hats! Over 550 and counting. I also enjoy singing and hamming it up on stage whenever I get a chance.

7. What is your favourite music, book, and film?

Favourite group: Rush. Favourite book/author : Tolkien. Favourite film: Star Wars (and in case there are any young people reading this, the Star Wars—the one from 1977).

8. Where is your dream vacation destination?

To visit the Canadian territories. I’ve visited all the provinces—just need to get a warm coat and get going.

9. What do you do better than anyone you know?

Collect hats.

10. If you could be anybody else, alive or dead, who would it be, and why?

Mozart—to be right there in the middle of that incredible music.

Harish Pawagi is an actuary at K-W Actuarial Services.

 

 

Joint CIA and IAA staff picture.

A total of 25 years of service from three Head Office personnel to the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and its members has been recognized in a special presentation.

Executive Director Michel Simard handed gifts to manager of meeting services Nancy Jenkinson, who has worked at the CIA for 15 years, and resident actuary Chris Fievoli and French editor Josée Gonthier, who have been with the Institute for five years.

Ms. Jenkinson is responsible for planning and staging CIA events from the Annual Meeting to the specialty seminars, including arranging venues, pulling together programs of speakers, and promoting each meeting.

Mr. Fievoli works in conjunction with numerous committees and task forces to draft submissions and other communications, manage projects relating to standards of practice and guidance material, and respond to queries from members plus the public and media.

Mme Gonthier oversees the translation process of all CIA publications and edits and reviews all the Institute's French CIA documents. She also oversees the production of Member Services Council documents, and provides support to the Research Committee.

Executive Director Michel Simard said: "We hope to count on their dedicated collaboration for many more years to come."

 
THIS MONTH'S PUBLICATIONS

December's published documents:

213106
Exposure Draft – Revisions to Economic Reinvestment Assumptions within the Practice-Specific Standards on Insurance Contract Valuation: Life and Health (Accident and Sickness) Insurance (Section 2300 and Subsection 1110)
213105
Initial Communication of Promulgations of the Maximum Net Credit Spread, Ultimate Reinvestment Rates, and Calibration Criteria for Stochastic Risk-Free Interest Rates in the Standards of Practice for the Valuation of Insurance Contract Liabilities: Life and Health (Accident and Sickness) Insurance (Subsection 2330 of the Exposure Draft for Revisions to the Standards of Practice)
EE
Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) University Accreditation Program (UAP) – External Examiners Wanted
MSCA103
MSCA103
Member Services Council Agenda - Meeting nÂș 103
213104 Educational Note – Guidance for the 2013 Valuation of Insurance Contract Liabilities and Dynamic Capital Adequacy Testing for Property and Casualty Insurers

December's tweets from @CIA Actuaries:

@StatCan_eng: membership in registered pension plans (RPPs) in Canada reached 6,114,600 in 2011, up 0.8% in a year http://bit.ly/ciaica339

Canadians will take on record levels of consumer debt next year, in part to buy cars, says credit bureau @TransUnion http://bit.ly/ciaica338

@bankofcanada and others start public consultation on Bank’s risk management standards for designated infrastructures http://bit.ly/ciaica337

CIA members to speak at Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction seminar on pricing risk of water damage claims http://bit.ly/ciaica336

@FSCOTweets seeking submissions for three-year auto insurance review http://bit.ly/ciaica335

Americans are richer and tend to spend more, on average, than Canadians - but not on food/alcohol, says TD report http://bit.ly/ciaica334

@StatCan_eng Women in university less likely than men to study science, tech, engineering, maths, computers http://bit.ly/ciaica333

CIA member Rob Brown: expanding #CPP is "best idea" to help #pensions. "Now is the time to act" - via @WinnipegNews http://bit.ly/ciaica332

#Actuaries' work highlighted as @CBCNews article looks at auto insurers' profits in #NovaScotia http://bit.ly/ciaica331

CIA member Lyna Gendron appointed AVP, pricing and underwriting, group insurance, at Standard Life http://bit.ly/ciaica330

#Actuary Jean-Guy Sauriol's #GrandAdventure of @Maple_Lys featured in @TheTorontoSun http://bit.ly/ciaica329

@StatCan_eng on employer pension plans: market value $1.2 tn at end of Q2, virtually unchanged from previous quarter http://bit.ly/ciaica328

Join #CIA @FairmontHotels #Royal #York #Hotel #Toronto to discuss the process for setting #ActuarialStandards http://bit.ly/1iw96QO

Last chance for the professionalism webcast for 2013 http://bit.ly/1e33cVj

#Actuaries short on CPD hours? Register for the CIA professionalism webcast http://bit.ly/1e33cVj

Want to discuss how #ActuarialStandards of practice relate to pensions, insurance, benefit programs? Join us http://bit.ly/1iw96QO

StatsCan releases Pension Satellite Account 2012 - pension wealth advanced to $2.6 trillion, up 9.1% from 2011 http://bit.ly/ciaica327

Sally Gunz, professor of business law & ethics @UWaterloo, discusses actuarial standards and the public interest http://bit.ly/1iw96QO

The 26th Actuarial Report discusses the financial state of the CPP http://bit.ly/1dQdOH2

Interested in #ActuarialStandards of practice? Attend the #ASOCPublicMeeting http://bit.ly/1iw96QO

CIA member Elaine Lajeunesse, VP of BMO Financial, will discuss bank's #ERM program on Risk Radio on Thursday http://bit.ly/ciaica326

One week complete in #GrandAdventure of @Maple_Lys http://bit.ly/1ePFgld supporting @BreakfastCanada and Actuarial Foundation of Canada

 
Calendar of Events
Board and Council Updates

The following people have been appointed to the groups/positions named below: 

Board

  • Elections Committee: Jim Christie and Stephen Bonnar, effective November 11, 2013; and
  • Member Services Council: Marc Tardif (Chair), effective immediately. Note: the term of Marc-André Melançon has ended and he leaves with thanks.

The Governance Task Force has been disbanded, with thanks, effective immediately.

Eligibility and Education Council

Ralph Ovsec and Keith Sharp resigned from the Committee on Continuing Education and Academic Relations Committee respectively, and leave with thanks.

Member Services Council

  • Committee on Volunteer Initiatives: Jean-François Lalonde, effective September 4, 2013.
  • Individual Living Benefits Experience Subcommittee of the Research Committee: Todd Friesen, effective October 28, 2013; and
  • Research Committee: Emilie Bouchard, effective November 13, 2013.

The Task Force on Pension Funding and Transfer Values has been created with the following mandate:

  • Review the issues related to funding of single employer DB plans and transfer values
  • Whether there should be a requirement to fund on the basis of solvency
  • How should the discount rate be setup in a going-concern basis? Should such rate be prescribed? What should it be?
  • If solvency is required, how should fully indexed plans be valued? Should it continue to be based on presumed annuity purchase?
  • Should the funding basis be the same whether the sponsor is in the public or private sector?
  • Should funding method based on probability of achieving a future funding target be allowed, as TBP may be funded on this basis?
  • Should current transfer value basis be changed to a basis reflecting how the benefits are funded?
  • Prepare a position paper with pros and cons and if possible, a public position of the CIA. The issue of transfer value should be addressed both from an actuarial standards point of view (i.e. equivalent value between the deferred pension and the lump sum) and a public policy point of view (i.e. lower benefit to those who terminated employment).

The Task Force on Target Benefit Plans has been created with the following mandate:

  • Comment on the regulations of TBP including:
  • Margin in actuarial assumptions
  • Solvency exemption
  • The trigger to reduce benefits or increase benefits
  • Whether the trigger should be based on solvency, projected funding position, or probability of meeting future funding target
  • The conversion of accrued service
  • The governance structure (including retirees’ representation)
  • The use of stochastic models to fund the benefits. Should the CIA propose standards for these models?
  • The need for flexibility to let sponsors reflect the different needs vs. the objective of the regulator to minimize the probability of reducing the benefits
  • The options available at retirement including whether cash out should be allowed
  • How transfer values should be calculated.
  • Comment on whether the CIA should promote this option and how.