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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

February 2014
Elliott Bauer
D.W. Simpson & Company
Eckler Ltd.
Your Institute

By Jacques Lafrance, FCIA
CIA President

Mortality of Canadian pensioners

I would like to draw your attention to the release of the Institute’s final report containing the very first mortality tables and mortality improvement scales based on the Canadian pensioner mortality experience. The information provided by this study will help Canadian actuaries offer their clients an even more reliable set of calculations and estimates.

The path to completing this study was not an easy one. The obstacles lying in our way were overcome thanks to a strong contribution by a number of volunteers. I’d like to offer them my sincere thanks.

Elections

The elections to choose the Institute’s leadership are almost upon us. The positions of President-elect and four Directors will be up for election.

I know that some very capable members of our profession are hesitant to throw their hat in the ring because a Director’s workload might seem somewhat daunting. It is my opinion, however, that a Director’s functions constitute a relatively modest commitment in terms of hours spent—one that any, or just about any, actuary can handle. In addition to helping advance our profession, ensuring the Institute’s sound governance, and carrying out its strategic plan, an Institute directorship can be a most rewarding experience from a personal standpoint. It allows you to refine or put in practice your managerial and human relations competencies, as well as learning more about the issues facing the actuarial profession. I can tell you right now that my first term as Director a few years ago made me a more complete professional. My employer and my clients benefited, and continue to benefit, from the fruits of this experience.

As for the Institute presidency, I won’t deny that the effort involved is greater. But what I will say is that the Board of Directors and my recent predecessors have adopted measures to lighten the President’s workload, through such means as increased reliance on delegation and better distribution of tasks. Moreover, the President can count on the tireless support of the Executive Director and his team, as well as the assistance of the other members of the Board.

Is it worth the effort? Yes, absolutely! To date my experience as President has been fantastic and extremely enjoyable. In fact, it far exceeds the expectations I had when I decided to run for the post. My above remarks about the importance and benefits of being a Director apply as well to the presidency, but to the power of three! And then there is the unique experience that serving as President represents in terms of relations with the other actuarial associations, government, oversight bodies, and, of course, the media. This part of the job has its challenges, to be sure, but it makes the presidency all the more attractive and interesting. After all, where’s the satisfaction in doing a job if there are no challenges?

So, maybe your time has come. If you’re thinking about running, feel free to contact the Elections Committee. Its members include a past President and a past Director who will be pleased to fill you in on the responsibilities of these posts and the benefits they can represent.

Happy elections! 

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

 

 

 
Spotlight

By Jim Christie, FCIA

In my second (e)Bulletin article since becoming Chair of the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB), I would like to comment on the ASB’s current efforts on Canadian actuarial standards.

The CIA has recently published a final report including new pensioner mortality tables and improvement scales based on Canadian pension plan experience. Our standards already provide for actuaries to use their best estimates of appropriate mortality for going concern pension valuations. A designated group (DG) chaired by Conrad Ferguson will be recommending to the ASB which mortality table(s) and mortality improvement scale(s) to promulgate for the pension commuted value and marriage breakdown capitalized value standards. An initial communication to CIA members and other interested parties inviting comments on the proposed promulgations will then be issued by the ASB. The DG has started its work. The ASB will need to ensure the profession and other interested parties have sufficient time to comment on any proposed recommendations.

Concurrently the ASB is also monitoring work on life insurance mortality improvement being completed by the Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting, and will consider the results of this work to determine if changes are necessary to the mortality improvement assumptions promulgated for life insurance.

A DG chaired by Ty Faulds put tremendous effort into developing changes to the economic reinvestment assumptions for life insurance related to the use of fixed- and non-fixed-income assets in liability valuation, the determination of the ultimate interest rate, and achieving greater consistency in the results obtained through applying stochastic vs. deterministic approaches. An exposure draft (ED) was approved and published by the ASB in December. Currently we anticipate that changes to standards will be finalized in April 2014 to be effective October 15, 2014, though early implementation is not expected to be allowed.

A DG chaired by Bob Howard is close to finalizing a discussion draft of standards for use of models which, together with a revised notice of intent (NOI), will be presented for consideration at the April ASB meeting. Release of a revised NOI including the discussion draft of standards will be an intermediate step before proceeding to a formal ED.

The International Actuarial Association (IAA) is developing International Standards of Actuarial Practice (ISAPs). ISAPs are intended to be model minimum standards and are not applicable to actuaries in any country unless adopted by the national actuarial standard-setting body. The member organizations of the IAA, including the CIA, have approved a policy of convergence whereby each national actuarial body commits to moving its own actuarial standards toward those issued by the IAA. ISAP 1 (General Actuarial Practice) and ISAP 2 (Social Security) were approved in final form by the IAA in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The ASB reviewed ISAP 1 against our existing General Standards (Part 1000). As expected, in most circumstances part 1000 provided similar or stronger requirements than ISAP 1. Nevertheless, a few areas where ISAP 1 went further than part 1000 were identified. An NOI was published in August 2013 proposing changes to the General Standards to support convergence with ISAP 1. A DG chaired by Michael Banks that is dealing with these matters will present a draft ED for ASB consideration in April 2014. This ED will also incorporate changes to promote consistency of reporting for all practice areas pursuant to an NOI published in June 2012.

The ASB has begun a review of ISAP 2 (Social Security). There is currently no part of our standards addressing social security, so the ASB will be appointing a DG composed mainly of actuaries working in this area to recommend how to incorporate the requirements of ISAP 2 into our standards.

The IAA issued an ED on ISAP 3 (Employee Benefits under IAS 19) in November 2013. The ASB will be providing comments to the IAA on the ISAP 3 ED in early March 2014.

The International Accounting Standards Board released an ED on IFRS 4 (Insurance Contracts) in 2013. In anticipation of a final version of a revised of IFRS 4 becoming effective in 2018, the IAA has begun working on a related ISAP X. The ASB has appointed a DG chaired by Simon Curtis to monitor and comment upon statements of intent (SOIs) and EDs of this ISAP. Based on advice from the group, the ASB provided comments to the IAA on their draft statement. Ultimately the DG will recommend to the ASB what revisions to our standards are necessary to address ISAP X. Because of the timing of the expected effective date for the revised IFRS 4, it may be necessary for the ASB to begin developing Canadian standards using the IAA’s exposure draft of ISAP X, rather than the final version. We expect to have more clarity on the IAA’s timeline for ISAP X this spring.

Jim Christie, FCIA, is Chair of the Actuarial Standards Board.

 
MOVERS AND SHAKERS

Sylvie Charest was named as the governor representing employers on the Council of Governors of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Mme Charest has held leadership roles in a number of major multi-national companies, and is currently vice-president, global pension and benefits, for Scotiabank.

Several CIA members were recently featured in Benefits Canada magazine:



Networking is a key part of any successful professional's career, and the CIA is offering you a fresh opportunity to inform your peers about your achievements and progress.

Our (e)Bulletin section, Actuaries on the Move, is a chance for you to publicize your new job, title, credentials or other information. This is an opportunity to tell thousands of fellow actuaries and financial professionals—whether they are ex-colleagues, former college friends, potential employers, future clients, etc.—about, for example:
  • Your new job;
  • A change of title or area of responsibility;
  • Your new qualifications;
  • A change of contact details;
  • Awards or other recognition; or
  • Publication of academic papers or articles.
Simply send an e-mail—one line of information can be enough, but feel free to add more if you so wish—to the CIA's English Editor at andrew.melvin@cia-ica.ca and we will aim to include it in the next issue of the (e)Bulletin.

For more news of CIA members and their activities, follow the CIA on Twitter.

 

 
Institute News
 
 
Elections will soon take place for four Director positions (three-year terms), and the President-elect (one-year term, three-year commitment). Any member who wishes to run for one of these positions, and who meets the nomination requirements set out in the CIA Elections Rules of Procedure, will have their name appear on the ballot.

The Elections Committee is also actively identifying and encouraging potential candidates to run. It aims to achieve proportional representation by region and practice area on the Board.

If you are interested in nominating an individual or submitting your own name for this year’s ballot, please contact Shirley Ann Mahon at the CIA Head Office before April 2. Further information regarding the nomination requirements can be found in the Rules of Procedure.

This is your opportunity to serve and support your profession!

 
The first issue of Seeing Beyond Risk, our quarterly electronic publication that will promote actuarial thinking and the profession’s expertise, has now been distributed to politicians, the leading 500 Canadian corporations, government officials, the media, academics, national actuarial and professional associations, and others around the world.

Replacing the CIA’s print magazine as a key method of highlighting members’ foremost position in the field of risk, this publication features contributions from well-known names in actuarial science and experts in the field, writing about topics suggested and honed by the CIA Editorial Panel and/or Institute members.
 
Our first issue features an article from Fred Vettese, FCIA, FSA: "Fixing Canada’s Retirement ‘Crisis’". It sets out his views on the retirement income system and potential changes. The comments expressed in Seeing Beyond Risk do not claim to represent the opinion of all members of the Institute or the profession as a whole, but instead offer an expert’s opinion and hopefully provide talking points and fresh ideas for non-actuaries. The publication is also designed to encourage people outside the profession to consider the benefits actuaries can bring to their organizations.

We urge members with suggestions for future articles, or those who are willing to write 1,500–1,800 words about important topics of interest to a financially-literate audience, to e-mail the CIA’s English Editor Andrew Melvin at andrew.melvin@cia-ica.ca. Work has begun on the next issue (due for release in April), but ideas and proposals for future issues will be greatly appreciated

 

By Mathieu Boudreault, ACIA

In 2013, the Board adopted a set of new long-term strategic goals for the CIA. One of these involves the CIA taking steps toward being recognized as an education body, not just an accreditation body. This is a paradigm shift for the CIA, meaning that it now takes full accountability for the education path to Associate and Fellow (ACIA and FCIA).

The most noticeable change that resulted from this strategic goal is the launch in September 2012 of the University Accreditation Program (UAP), which provides Canadian actuarial candidates with an alternate route to becoming an ACIA and FCIA. Since universities have now become obvious education partners, the CIA has also founded the Academic Relations Committee (ARC).

About the Academic Relations Committee

The mandate of the ARC is mostly to propose initiatives, with the collaboration of various instances within the CIA, to enhance the relationship between universities, the CIA and the industry. We also collaborate with numerous committees and councils on matters related to preliminary, advanced and continuing education, research, the UAP, etc. The ARC is composed of nine people (including the chair) who have a range of experience balanced between academia and/or industry practice.

In this article, we first discuss why the profession should build stronger connections with universities, and secondly we propose ideas and examples on how this can be done. The article summarizes some of the key points mentioned during the Friday plenary session of the 2013 Annual Meeting held in Montréal.

Partnering with universities for education and research: two opposing views

A university mainly has two roles: knowledge creation and its transfer to society. Knowledge creation, which includes discoveries and innovations, is mostly accomplished in research labs with the help of government and industry partners. In order to lead to societal advances, knowledge needs to be transferred for possible applications. This is done through education at all levels: bachelor’s, master’s and PhD. Hence, today’s research may be part of an undergraduate’s education five, 10, or 50 years from now.

Former President of the Society of Actuaries Charles Trowbridge once said in his presidential address that there is a "very unusual relationship between the actuarial profession and the academic world . . . We [the profession] put little or no emphasis on academic degrees and we have no university-connected actuarial schools giving the equivalent of MD or JD degrees." (The Actuary, August/September 2012.)

Doctors have embraced university education for centuries. Indeed, research labs are important parts of many hospitals and larger hospitals are mostly associated with a university offering MD degrees. MD degrees are first professional doctoral degrees (as opposed to research doctorates, i.e., PhDs) where candidates have a blend of scientific education and practical training (with patients in hospitals). Due to the proximity of doctors to the research labs, technological transfers in medicine are very quick. Medical treatments can save lives and the whole society can obviously benefit from efficient knowledge transfers.

On the other hand, the actuarial profession has taken two different views on education and research. In Canada, the United States, Great Britain, and Australia, actuarial education has widely relied on a professional organization to define and assess the education of its actuaries and generate knowledge. In many European countries such as France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland, universities and practitioners are much closer. French actuaries, for example, obtain their credentials mostly after earning an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in actuarial science. Master’s degrees and PhDs are common among European insurance and reinsurance company leaders and CEOs.

In Canada, university actuarial programs were mostly developed to meet the increasing demand of actuaries from local insurance companies. Undergraduate degrees and majors in actuarial science have become increasingly popular to help students pass preliminary actuarial exams. They turned out to be a standard to obtain an entry-level job as an actuary. Such programs started in Winnipeg (University of Manitoba) and Québec City (Université Laval) and there are now 11 universities with actuarial programs accredited by the CIA across the country. University actuarial education in Canada has been a tremendous success: there are now about 600 actuarial graduates per year in Canada and approximately 80 full-time academics in Canadian actuarial programs.

Despite the fact that the very large majority of actuaries now hold a bachelor’s degree, the connection between the profession and universities has always been rather weak. There are numerous reasons for that: the perceived role of the universities was to help students pass exams; the very strong actuarial labour market; the number of academics was small; there were few graduate programs available; investments in research and development by insurance and consulting companies were low, etc.

The actuarial profession has rapidly evolved over the last 30 years. Deregulation of the insurance and finance industries has led to more competition across companies and, as a result, among professions as well. In 2006, the CRUSAP (Critical Review of the U.S. Actuarial Profession) stated that:

Competition from other professions will increase in areas where actuaries can and do provide services; competing professionals including CPAs, MBAs, PhDs, CFA charterholders, financial engineers [. . .] and risk managers [. . .]

There are actuarial alternatives arising from globalization of actuarial services, technical innovations, and management’s attitude toward greater use of noncredentialed actuaries.

This increasing competition coming from other industries raises the opportunity for the actuarial profession to innovate and position itself differently. It is clear that the Canadian actuarial profession could further leverage its partnership with Canadian universities not just for preliminary education. With graduate and continuing education, in addition to research, there is room for many other types of mutually beneficial partnerships between the profession and universities.

How to forge better partnerships with universities

The role of universities has significantly evolved over the last decades, offering more and more services directly to organizations (governments, companies, etc.). First, most universities have a dedicated continuing education office, linking courses, programs, and professors to the continuing education needs of the organization. Canadian actuarial programs could offer, for example, (graduate) courses that would count toward Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits. Although some presentations might be very technical, attendance at local seminars, conferences, and scientific events is a great way to get to know more about the latest developments in the scientific literature. Given the presence of actuarial programs in the larger Canadian cities, university-based continuing education could help lower travel expenses incurred by organizations. It is also very likely that the price tag for these university events is very competitive. Overall, the actuarial profession would have access to a tremendous amount of scientific knowledge in actuarial science, finance, statistics, etc., at a very reasonable cost (travel and registration).

Universities also have partnership offices dedicated to linking professors and organizations for research projects. These offices accompany the professors during the whole process: they organize networking events for professors and organizations to meet, they provide the legal counseling necessary for the contracts, etc. There are generally two types of partnerships between an organization and the professor: consulting and research contracts. They both differ on the nature of the services and the ownership of the intellectual property. In consulting contracts, the professor acts as a counsellor to the organization, whereas research contracts are agreements with emphasis on knowledge development. Ownership of intellectual property for scientific publication is always crucial for professors and there are generally many ways to arrange a contract where the professor can publish its findings while the organization keeps a competitive advantage for a determined period of time. In both cases, the professors can use the money to support graduate students that can help in the project, buy the necessary equipment, etc. Hence, university-based partnership offices help organizations invest in scientific research and accelerate the integration of the newly-discovered knowledge into the organization.

The federal and provincial governments largely support research with the industry and technological transfers to the society. For example, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada has various programs to help researchers and companies collaborate on research projects. There are the industry-sponsored research chairs, the industrial postgraduate scholarship (IPS) program, the industrial undergraduate student research awards (USRA), etc. With an IPS, the master’s or PhD student’s thesis is co-supervised by a professor and a practitioner. The university and the organization are both partners in the student’s education and the scholarship is paid by both the government and the organization. It is important to emphasize that depending on the organization’s status, its contribution is subject to very important tax rebates as it is deemed a research investment. The industrial USRA is a co-sponsored internship program (16 weeks) for undergraduate students. The workings are similar: both the professor and the practitioner supervise the student, and the scholarship is also paid by both the federal government and the organization (also subject to tax credits). In Québec, BMP Innovation scholarships are similar to the federal IPS but the scholarship is financed by the federal and Québec governments and the organization (33.3 percent each). Mitacs, a not-for-profit research organization, offers similar opportunities for research partnerships between universities and companies. Thus, there are plenty of government-sponsored programs available to help organizations invest in research, access university expertise, and hire highly-qualified personnel, all at a very low cost for the organization (shared between sponsors and eligible for tax credits). These programs are widely popular in many fields, such as engineering, chemistry, biology, and pharmaceuticals.

The ARC is currently working on a strategic plan to help companies and other organizations leverage partnership programs that already exist. Meanwhile, for those interested in creating education and research partnerships with local universities, it is always possible to contact professors directly whenever collaboration is sought.

Conclusion

It is clear that the insurance industry has been facing increased competition over the last decades, and consequently the actuarial profession has as well. With risk comes opportunity: the profession and the industry could seize this occasion and build stronger connections with its academic community. The infrastructure and the programs already exist to encourage education and research partnerships. The only thing missing from organizations is their leaders' willingness to jump in, just like so many other professions did.

The actuarial profession has been relying on itself for almost a century and obviously partnering with universities is a cultural change. But with the launch of the UAP and the ARC, the CIA has initiated this change and paved the way for the profession to strengthen its relationship with Canadian universities. The Canadian actuarial profession clearly has the potential to stand out from the rest of the world by leveraging our highly-reputed academics and university-based actuarial programs.

Mathieu Boudreault, ACIA, is Chair of the Academic Relations Committee.

M. Boudreault would like to thank Dave Dickson (Chair of the Research Committee), Alicia Rollo (director of membership, education, and professional development), Jason Vary (Chair of the Eligibility and Education Council), and José Garrido (a member of the ARC) for their helpful feedback.


 

 

 

The CIA website was nominated as one of three finalists in the Non-Profit category of Sitefinity’s Website of the Year 2013 competition.These awards honour the best websites which use Telerik’s content management system, Sitefinity, and are based on the sites’ creativity, user experience, and application of the latest features and functionality.

The award finalists are selected by Telerik, a software firm whose products are used by more than 40,000 organizations in 94 countries. The competition, in which the CIA site was beaten by beyondblue, an Australian organization that supports sufferers of anxiety and depression, was an excellent opportunity to promote the actuarial profession and the CIA brand to a global audience.

Our redesigned site was launched in April 2013. Each year, Telerik—whose customers include more than 450 of the Fortune 500 firms, academic institutions, governments, and non-profits—nominates sites created with Sitefinity for its Website of the Year awards. The winners are entitled to use the Sitefinity Website of the Year badge, and will receive a certificate of recognition.

The staff of the CIA, along with our web development team at Pavliks.com and several volunteers on the Communications Committee and the Member Services Council, have worked (and continue to work) very hard to deliver an effective and user-friendly website for all CIA members. We are very proud of the recognition from the Sitefinity community.
 

 

Daniel Pellerin

1. Why did you become an actuary?

While reading the directory of occupations, I noticed "actuary" right on the first page, and it seemed to cover some really interesting fields (math, economics, management, communications, etc.). The directory also indicated that it was a high-paying profession—neglecting to mention, however, the multitude of exams you had to pass to get into the field. When I discussed the possibility with a friend, he made fun of me ("My brother failed the first exam and he’s way smarter than you!"). That was all the convincing I needed to go for it!

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

A lot of people have no idea, but they do know that I studied a long time. Some people just have this empty, inquisitive look ("huh?").

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

Alphonse Lepage was a big inspiration, even though I met him only once, when I was 16. I told myself then and there that I wanted to be like him. Not only for his technical skills but because of his kindness toward his colleagues and staff. Later I learned that the Canadian Reassurance Company was a wonderful outfit with a fine sense of teamwork, and they admired M. Lepage.

4. What do you enjoy most about your job?

Communicating the results of our work to various audiences, but doing it in a way that they understand! Working collaboratively to resolve complex problems (but not overly so).

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

I was kind of heading toward communications or television arts, because I had more of a talent for creative arts and writing than math. I would have loved to make films.

6. What are your hobbies?

My favourite pastime is to play the drums. Sadly, work leaves me no time to be part of a band, but you never know . . . I also like Formula 1 races, cycling, and spending time with my family.

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

I love films based on an original idea or that throw you a curve at the end, like Monsters Inc. and The Sixth Sense, for example. Needless to say, I also love any music with a complex beat (I like the challenge of reproducing it on my drum kit).

8. Where is your dream vacation destination?

Funny you should ask, because I’m starting to plan a dream trip for my retirement (which won’t be for a few years, just so you know). An Asian cruise seems to be my flavour of the month right now . . . until my wife nixes the idea, of course . . .

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

I deeply respect my actuarial colleagues and feel that each is likely better than me in one field or another. But having said that, I seem to have a certain ease understanding business imperatives and relating them to actuarial work. As you get older, you also develop a sixth sense for expected results . . .

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

I’m quite happy in my own skin, thank you very much. But just for one day, I’d love to trade places with Fernando Alonso (Formula 1 driver for Ferrari) so I could drive a high-performance race car.

Daniel Pellerin is senior vice-president and chief actuary at Transmerica Life Canada.
 

By Dave Dickson, FCIA

A couple of years ago, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) launched an initiative to better support its Canadian members; one of its objectives is to partner with the CIA on Canadian research projects.

The SOA extends its research capabilities to provide expertise, resources, and funding to assist in bringing valuable research to Canadian actuaries and the public. To support this initiative, the SOA has a staff dedicated to Canadian membership. Émilie Bouchard was hired in this role in October, and part of her role is to identify relevant research projects and promote them within the SOA to obtain funding and support. Émilie has joined the CIA Research Committee to gain a better understanding of the types of research the CIA currently undertakes, and to contribute research topics otherwise contemplated by the SOA, for which it might make sense for both organizations to cooperate.

Over the last couple of years, this initiative has resulted in a number of joint projects, including papers on health care and climate change. Below I’ll highlight three that have recently been discussed:

  1. We have contracted with a consultant to review the last 12 months of the Globe and Mail publications, looking for significant events affecting companies and categorizing them under risk management categories. This will give us a better understanding of what types of events affect Canadian companies and how enterprise risk management can play a role in helping them manage these risks. A paper will be produced that will be of interest to our members and Canadian companies, and will be available soon.
  2. An analysis will be done of policyholder behaviour under segregated fund products such as fund switches and redemptions. This will give our members and Canadian companies a better understanding of the activity under these types of products. In the U.S., Limra was hired to complete a similar project, and it will be involved in conducting the Canadian study; the Segregated Fund Experience Subcommittee of the CIA Research Committee will help gather the data and manage the project.
  3. The third initiative is one that will bring a different approach to research. Typically, a need is identified for research, the project plan is put together, the data are gathered, and the study is conducted. This can often take one or more years. With all of the interest in defined benefit (DB) pension plans, there is a need for a model that will predict the impact on Canadian DB plans of different stimuli, such as changes in regulations, changes in demographics, and changes in economic conditions. A model will therefore be developed to analyze the impact of various stimuli and potential scenarios on private DB plans in a very quick and efficient manner.

The above examples are projects that were successfully completed in the U.S. and then adapted for Canada. In these particular initiatives, the SOA brings expertise, internal resources, and partial or full funding. The CIA provides Canadian expertise, resources, and connections with key Canadian stakeholders. The Institute also translates documents for French members. In addition, it will take the lead on making sure that the results of these studies are distributed in the most impactful and useful manner, to serve Canadians and to promote the actuarial profession in Canada.

How can you help?

Please contact Émilie (at 613-402-4118 or at ebouchard@soa.org) or myself if you are aware of any research which would serve Canadian actuaries and the public. We are always looking for research ideas.

Dave Dickson, FCIA, is Chair of the Research Committee.
 

By Alexis Tertulliani

The new mortality tables recently published by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries reflect the continuing increase in life expectancy that society as a whole is experiencing: we are living longer, healthier, and more productive lives. As this trend continues, a growing number of people will spend almost as many years in retirement as they have spent in their professional career. While some may elect to invest their time exclusively to enjoying retirement, many may decide to take advantage of good health and an active lifestyle to continue providing their expertise, knowledge, and experience as independent consultants.

Actuaries who wish to follow the semi-retirement route are fortunate as the opportunities to provide consulting services, on an ad hoc, part-time, or even full-time basis, are readily available and typically do not require substantial start-up costs nor are they expected to represent significant financial risks. There is, however, one risk that all professionals should consider when transitioning from a retired employee to a consultant: professional liability. As professionals, actuaries are personally responsible for their professional activities and services and are exposed to professional liability lawsuits and claims for actual or alleged negligence or wrongful acts committed in the course of those activities. Lawsuits can happen to even the best professionals; even in cases where no actual negligence is proven, defence costs almost always represent a significant expense.

Professional liability insurance is one of the most effective tools available to transfer the financial obligation of defence costs and legal expenses to an insurer, as well as the burden of selecting and retaining legal counsel and managing the legal process that may ensue. In situations where damages are awarded to a third party, professional liability insurance will indemnify accordingly, subject to the limit of insurance available under the policy.

Professional liability insurance is a fundamental component of any professional’s overall risk management and risk financing strategy, and it ensures that the consulting activities that began as an exciting and fulfilling way to enjoy semi-retirement do not prevent one from enjoying full-time retirement if and when that time comes.

For more details on ProAct insurance, visit http://www.pro-act.ca/index_en.html.

Alexis Tertulliani is vice-president of risk management and client relations at Dale Parizeau Morris Mackenzie.

 

By Jean-Guy Sauriol, FCIA

As I stumbled onto the dock of the Port St Charles marina, four years of visualization, planning, preparation, and rowing came to an end. Just a few hours earlier I had seen land for the first time in 74 days. As a solo ocean rower, hugging my wife and my son was my first human contact since leaving the island of Gran Canaria in the Canaries on November 24, 2013. I completed my journey on February 6, 2014, just a few hours before the start of the Winter Olympics. In the meantime, I spent Christmas, New Year’s, and my 60th birthday alone at sea.

It all started with the story of Katie Spotz in 2010. When I saw how she had crossed the Atlantic Ocean, I realized how I would do my own crossing. I had become fascinated with the idea of crossing an ocean in a human-powered boat when, 10 years earlier, I read the story of Hannes Lindeman. He crossed the ocean twice in the 1950s, once in a canoe and once in a kayak.

I had absolutely no rowing experience and had never been in a small boat on the ocean. Everything was new to me. All I had was my fascination for such a feat. Reading all the books I could find and buying a WaterRower (an indoor rowing machine) in September 2010 were my first concrete steps towards achieving my goal. I went to the Canary Islands to check out the start of a rowing race in 2011. I went to Ireland in 2012 to check out a boat. That’s when I met Tony Humphreys for the first time. Those who have followed my crossing know that Tony would become extremely important to this project.

I eventually opted for a new boat that was built in England in 2013. I registered the boat under the Canadian boat registry. I named her Maple. I am very proud I flew the Canadian flag across the Atlantic. I didn’t realize it at the time, but asking Jamie Fabrizio to build a boat for me was critical to the success of this project. Along the way, the boat and I became an extension of one another. I learned how she reacted to the wind, the waves, and the current. She protected me against the elements and the hazards of the ocean. I took care of her, cleaning her and keeping her "as new" throughout the crossing for the next owner. On deck, at times, I felt edgy, scared. But when I retreated at the end of the day to the safety of her cabin and closed the watertight hatch, I felt as safe as if I was going home after work.

I built my routine around sunrise and sunset. Twelve hours on deck, 12 hours in the cabin. Typically, I would wake up at dawn. I would prepare breakfast and gather everything I needed for the day: water, energy bars, sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, gloves, cameras. I would be on deck just before or after sunrise. After a pit stop to the black bucket, I would get the boat ready for a day’s rowing. I stopped rowing at sunset. At dusk, after stowing everything for the night, I would say goodbye to the ocean for the night. In practice, I rowed between 10 to 11 hours a day. The last week, I did a bit of overtime to ensure I would arrive at North Point, Barbados, with enough time to make it safely to the marina during daylight.

Rowing between 10 to 11 hours a day is hard and eventually the mind takes over. It’s no longer a matter of being able to do it, but a matter of wanting to. From the day you start, there is no reprieve and the other side of the ocean is the only option. The real obstacle to finishing is adverse weather.

When I first decided to cross the Atlantic solo, it was clearly a personal project. However, along the way, I realized that people are inspired by such stories. This is why I decided to link my adventure to the Actuarial Foundation of Canada and the Breakfast Club of Canada. I raised in excess of $10,000 for the club. There are no clear records as to how much my adventure inspired you to give to the foundation. Hopefully, if you haven’t done so already, reading this bulletin will be a reminder to do so right now as it is never too late.

I graduated from Université Laval in 1977 and became a Fellow of the CIA in 1981. That’s how long four years are. After four years into the Maple Lys Solo adventure, I was on target, on time, and on budget. As I sit at my computer trying to write this story, I feel a bit like I did when I completed my exams: happy, proud, and with all this time on my hands. What am I going to do next? Frankly, I don’t know. I will find out eventually because apparently people like me always look for and find something, just like I did when I completed my Fellowship. There is anecdotal evidence I may be the only person in the world to have run a marathon, finished an Ironman triathlon, completed the Yukon River Quest solo, and rowed an ocean solo. For now, beyond the videos and the pictures I brought back with me, I will savor the memory that counts the most: I did it.

Jean-Guy Sauriol, FCIA, is the founder of seclonLogic.

Jean-Guy back on shore at the end of his journey.

Jean-Guy Sauriol aboard his rowboat, Maple.

 
THIS MONTH'S PUBLICATIONS

February's published documents:

214021
Communiqué: Canada’s Actuaries Release Report on Water Damage Risk and Property Insurance Pricing
214020
Research Paper: Water Damage Risk and Canadian Property Insurance Pricing
214022
Skills and Knowledge Inventories (SKI) for Actuarial Evidence Area of Practice
AM2013-21
Session 21: Mock Trial—Pension T. Actuary Takes the Stand!
ORG022114
Organization of the CIA Head Office
AM2013-7
Session 7: Update on the Changes to Exempt Test Rules
EECA111
Eligibility and Education Council Agenda - Meeting nº 111 (February 19, 2014)
214016 Communiqué: New all-Canadian pension mortality tables and improvement scales: a first for Canadian actuaries and pension plans
ORG0214
Organization of the CIA Head Office
214013T2
CPM 2014 Mortality Tables: CPM 1999-2013 Rates
214013T3 CPM 2014 Mortality Tables: CPM 2014 Segments and Age Groups
214013T4
CPM 2014 Mortality Tables: CPP QPP Life Expectancies
214013
Final Report: Canadian Pensioners’ Mortality
214014
Memorandum: CPM 2014 Mortality Tables
214013T1
CPM 2014 Mortality Tables: CPM 2014 Rates
214015
CIA Elections Rules of Procedure (2014)
AM2013-43
Session 43: Equities in Insurance Companies’ Portfolios
ITGROSSUP
Grossing up for income tax
DIRCPP26
Disability incidence rates, 26th actuarial valuation of the Canada Pension Plan (December 31, 2012)
AM2013-6
Session 6: Hedging Long-Term Insurance Risks
MSCA104
Member Services Council Agenda - Meeting nº 104 (February 6, 2014)
RFPGT
Request for Proposals Regarding Genetic Testing Information Research Project
AM2013-23
Session 23: Group Insurance Debates
AM2013-32
Session 32: What’s New in Mortality Research at the SOA
B0114PDF
(e)Bulletin January 2014 (PDF version)
EB0114
(e)Bulletin January 2014
214012
Seeing Beyond Risk (January 2014)
CTEECI
Committee on Continuing Education Contact Information (January 31, 2014)

February's tweets from @CIA Actuaries:

In 2011 payouts for #WaterDamage claims hit the $500 million mark in #Québec Learn more about #WaterDamage http://bit.ly/1fr2bkd

90% of worldwide emails are #spam says @BrianBowmanWpg at #CASL #ogcsae

@FairmontLaurier for #csae #CASL #antispam conference #Ottawa @ogcsae

#Actuaries Looking for work? Check out the CIA Actuarial Jobs Bank http://bit.ly/1bSD27s

REMINDER: #ActuarialStudents at Simon Fraser U join us today, Feb 24 at 1:30 to talk to an #FCIA and learn about the CIA. Room K9509 @SFU

Upcoming #FCIAs, register now for the Practice Education course http://bit.ly/1d9WRlj

So proud of our @CDNOlympicTeam #womenshockey and #womenscurling. Good luck to our men’s teams! #GoCanadaGo #WeAreWinter

CIA #Actuaries Continuing Professional Development annual filing deadline is Feb 28 http://bit.ly/1e4gZVt

Changes in the business environment present new #professionalism issues for #actuaries

From the CIA #professionalism workshop for senior #Actuaries – showing good judgment earns the public interest

From today’s CIA workshop on #professionalism - demonstrating competence, conduct, and character defines you as a professional

CIA senior #actuaries debate independence vs. objectivity where #professionalism is concerned

New pension mortality tables introduced | Canadian HR Reporter http://www.hrreporter.com/articleview/20198-new-pension-mortality-tables-introduced via @hrreporter

#ActuarialStudents Missed the CIA’s #professionalism workshop today? Next one is March 6 in #Montréal http://bit.ly/M9szYC

Op-Ed: The myth of health care efficiency http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/myth+efficiency/9510470/story.html via @ottawacitizen

CIA’s new Canadian #mortality tables will give actuaries and other experts more accurate figures for #pension plans http://bit.ly/ciaica354

@OSFIBSIF Chief Actuary: with rate of 9.9%, CPP contributions "more than sufficient" to cover expenditures 2013-2022 http://bit.ly/ciaica353

"I encourage you to find your own ocean to row and live crossing your finish line". Congrats to Atlantic rower Jean-Guy Sauriol @Maple_Lys

What surprises are you expecting from @JimFlaherty in tomorrow's #federalbudget? #Actuaries

What’s your favorite Olympic sport? #GoCanadaGo #Sochi2014 #WeAreWinter

Expert Fred Vettese on Canada’s retirement ‘crisis’ – don’t miss Seeing Beyond Risk, the CIA’s new publication http://bit.ly/ciaica350

Take no #risk with risk management. #Actuaries turn numbers into knowledge. http://bit.ly/1aYW2R2

#ActuarialStudents @UMontreal join us today at 3:30 to talk to an #FCIA and learn about the CIA. Room B-2325, Pavillon Jean-Brillant.

Voting closes TODAY for #Sitefinity Website of the Year. Vote for the CIA in the non-profit category. http://bit.ly/1nNjiV6 #CMS

Celebrating 1,000 followers for our English and French accounts. Follow us to keep abreast of the latest on the Canadian actuary landscape.

Join us tomorrow for FREE Actuarial Standards Board webcast on initiatives affecting insurance, pensions, and more. http://bit.ly/1e78eQb

CIA member Sylvie Charest is Governor representing employers on Council of Governors of health/safety centre @CCOHS http://bit.ly/ciaica349

@OSFIBSIF Office of the Chief Actuary releases fact sheet on RPPs, retirement savings. RPP members: +11% in 10yrs http://bit.ly/ciaica348

 
Calendar of Events

CIA Professionalism Workshop – French – March 6, 2014 – Montréal

The CIA's Professionalism Workshop is a 3/4-day session that provides an overview of professionalism issues and makes extensive use of the case study method. Topics covered include the following:

  • What is a professional?;
  • The CIA structure;
  • The CIA's views on professionalism;
  • The CIA's discipline process; and
  • Malpractice and legal liability.

CIA Webcast – Commercial Real Estate Investing in Canada: What’s Next? – March 18, 2014

CIA Webcast – T10 Lapse Study – March 19, 2014

CIA Professionalism Workshop – Toronto (English) – April 25, 2014

CIA 2014 Practice Education Course – Ottawa – June 1–4, 2014

CIA Professionalism Workshop – English – June 17, 2014 – Vancouver

CIA 2014 Annual Meeting – Vancouver – June 18–19, 2014

CIA 2014 Actuarial Evidence Seminar – Toronto – September 12–13, 2014

CIA 2014 Seminar for the Appointed Actuary – Toronto – September 22–23, 2014

CIA 2014 Pension Seminar – Montréal – November 4, 2014

CIA 2014 Investment Seminar – Montréal – November 5, 2014

CIA 2015 Annual Meeting – Ottawa – June 17–18, 2015

 
Board and Council Updates

Eligibility and Education Council

The following people have been appointed to the positions and committees named below:

  • Accreditation Actuary at the University of Western Ontario: Mary Millard, effective July 1, 2014.
  • CAS liaison to the Eligibility Committee: Virginia Prevosto.
  • Practice Education Course (PEC) Organizing Committee: Thomas Hinton (Chair), Steven Cheng, Wes Foerster, Bruce Langstroth, Haripaul Pannu, Jean-François Poitras, and Carole Vincent, effective January 1, 2014. Note: Carole Vincent is being approved as Co-chair (ILA/FIN-INV); Haripaul Pannu and Jean-Francois Poitras are being approved as Co-vice-chairs (RET).
  • PEC exam subcommittees:
  • ILA and FIN-INV: Wes Foerster (Co-Chair), Carole Vincent (Co-Chair), Alan Bates, Luc Bergeron, Melissa Bui, Ahwaz Chagani, Mark Edwards, Frédéric Jacques, Mark Jarvis, Jennie Leung, Alanna Rand, David Stalker, Si Xie, and Vikram Malik. Note: the new member being approved is Vikram Malik; Melissa Bui is on maternity leave.
  • Group Benefits: Bruce Langstroth (Chair), Michael Correa, Erin Crump, Bruno Gagnon, Lyna Gendron, Martin Laframboise, René Norena, Kim Palatnick, and Lucian Schulte. Note: Ken Chin and Linda Maillet resigned and leave with thanks; the new members being approved are Kim Palatnick and Lucian Schulte; Loretta Di Carois on maternity leave.
  • Retirement Benefits: Stephen Cheng (Chair), Haripaul Pannu (Co-vice-chair), Jean-François Poitras (Co-vice-chair), Mark Campbell, Murray Ferguson, Karen Kulchyski, Alexandre Larose, Katie McElwain, Don Tettmar, Ryan Wall, Henry Yuen, and Alexandru Zaharia. Note: Trevor Cartlidge, Corinne Escaravage, Bruno Legris, Bryan Merida, Michael Millns, and Shannon Tesluck resigned and leave with thanks; the new member being approved is Ryan Wall.

The CIA Candidate Code of Conduct Task Force has been created with Robert Stapleford as Chair, and Dave Dickson, Bruce Jones, and Alanna Rand as members, with the mandate to develop a candidate code of conduct for the CIA.

The EEC has approved the membership of the following subcommittees of the Committee on Continuing Education for 20132014, retroactive to December 1, 2013:

  • Enterprise Risk Management: Ashley Goorachurn (Chair), Hélène Baril, Pierre-Paul Renaud, and Jay Zhong. Note: the new member being approved is Pierre-Paul Renaud. Altaf Rahim resigned from the subcommittee, and leaves with thanks.
  • Reinsurance: Mayur Shah (Chair), Stephanie Banfield, Patrick Charbonneau, Amit Malhotra, Jessica Newman, Maria Semak, and Elena Stoyanova. Note: the new members being approved are Patrick Charbonneau, Amit Malhotra, and Elena Stoyanova.
  • Individual Life and Health Insurance: Jean-Pierre Cormier (Chair), Robert Bhatia, Emile Elefteriadis, and Peter Treichel. Note: the new members being approved are Robert Bhatia, Emile Elefteriadis, and Peter Treichel.
  • Corporate Life and Health: Joan Strothard (Chair), Boon Thye Ho, Bradley Wallis, and Esther Shuo Wang. Note: the new members being approved are Boon Thye Ho and Esther Shuo Wang.
  • Pension: June Smyth (Co-chair), Heather Dee Wolfe (Co-chair), Tulio Walles Mora, Charlene Moriarty, Jean-François Poitras, and Stephen Cheng. Note: no change.
  • Group Life and Health: Jeremy Bell (Chair), Isabelle Bouchard, Edward Tsu-Jen Kuo, and Louise Lessard. Note: no change.
  • Investments, effective January 28, 2014: Eric Fontaine (Chair), Christopher Brisebois, Stanley Kwok, Ivy Lee, Martin Leroux, Sheldon Liu, Harry Satanove, and Pavlo Tytarenko. Note: Patrick Chamberland, Tim Cavallin, and Ross Dunlop resigned from the Investment Subcommittee of the Committee on Continuing Education and leave with thanks; Eric Fontaine is being approved as the new Chair; the new member being approved is Stanley Kwok.

The CIA Exam 6 Canada Syllabus Committee has been created with Sophia Banduk and Stéphane McGee as co-chairs, and Sarah Chevalier, Jacqueline Friedland, Patricia Hladun, Alena Kharkavets, David Langlois, Seung-Won (Sam) Lee, Henry Lim, Justin Pursaga, Lydia Roy, Erika Schurr, Lleweilun Smith, Michel Trudeau, and Gang (Richard) Xu as members.

Practice Council

The following people have been appointed to the committees named below:

  • Pension Plan Financial Reporting: Simon Nelson, effective December 2, 2013, and Mark Mervyn, effective February 1, 2014;
  • Life Insurance and Financial Reporting: Stéphanie Fadous, Eric Lemay, and Louis Nault, effective March 2014;
  • Post-Employment Benefit Plans: Karen Dixon (Chair), effective December 12, 2013; and
  • Workers’ Compensation: Crispina Caballero (Vice-chair).

For information only:

Neil Duffy, Mario Robitaille, and Stéphane Santerre will be completing their terms on the Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting,effective March 2014.

Jeremy Bell has stepped down as Chair of the Committee on Post-Employment Benefit Plans, effective December 12, 2013.