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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

December 2015
Elliott Bauer
D.W. Simpson & Company
Eckler Ltd.
President's Update

 

By Rob Stapleford, FCIA
CIA President

To view the video version of this message, click here.

Hello. I am Rob Stapleford and I am President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. This month, I will cover what happened at the CIA Board meeting on November twenty-sixth and share with you some highlights from the actuarial association meetings the leadership has attended since my last update. Merci beaucoup to Michel Simard for taking on the French version of this update!

At the Board meeting, there were a number of high-priority reports presented. Much is going on within the CIA; I want to thank the many volunteers who are at the heart of our Institute.

First up was the ongoing work on the strategic plan for 2016–2019. Thanks to the 396 members who participated in the poll which focused on the CIA’s top three strategic focus areas for the next 3–5 years. After considerable discussion and taking this feedback into account, the Board chose education, emerging areas of practice, and influencing public policy. All of these items will challenge and stretch the Institute in their planning, development, and implementation, but they will position us very positively with stakeholders.

Our next step will be to hold a special meeting or call of the Board in January where we will work through a process to identify and develop operating objectives in each of the focus areas.

The next high priority activity was to discuss what is meant by public interest. This is a very critical term in our profession, so much so that Rule 1 of our Guiding Principles states, "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."

Dr. Diane Girard led the Board through a discussion to help us get our arms around the task of understanding what the public expects from self-regulating professions, and how the CIA delivers on this expectation. Dr. Girard recently spoke at the IAA meeting in Vancouver. She holds a PhD in management, focused on middle managers’ ethical decision-making, an MBA, a master’s degree in law (LLM) and a post-graduate degree in applied ethics. She is a member of the Ordre des administrateurs agréés du Québec and of the Ethics Practitioners Association of Canada. She was also a member of the Québec Bar from 1983 to 2012.

The CIA meets its responsibilities in this regard through Standards of Practice, Rules of Professional Conduct, a robust discipline process, our initial education, continuing professional development, and professionalism sessions. In Dr. Girard’s view, the CIA could and should do more. Her presentation and follow-up discussion focused on support for individual members and she proposed ethical decision-making be promoted within the profession.

This topic continued into the next agenda item: a report from the Task Force on the Implementation of the Proposed Changes Regarding the Protection of the Public Interest. This work arose from the First Principles Review of the CIA’s approach to CPD and the recommendation by the 2014–2015 Governance Committee to introduce a requirement for members and those entering the CIA to report criminal convictions.

The report calls for bylaw changes to be voted on by members in 2016 and approved at the Annual Meeting next June. There will first be a 45-day consultation process with members in January and February, including webcasts, to seek member input before the proposed changes are finalized, likely at the March Board meeting. The usual protocol for bylaw changes, once the Board approves them, would then follow in April/May, and include additional informational webcasts, proxy voting, and finally discussion and approval at the General Business Session in Newfoundland in June.

The first change has to do with member compliance with CPD requirements. There is a small number of members who, for one reason or another, do not fulfill their CPD requirements, yet continue to use their professional designation with the full rights of membership. The Board has discussed and continues to discuss the implications of this non-compliance, in terms of the protection of the public. The Eligibility Committee completed a review of the CPD process and brought forward recommended changes. The EEC approved the recommendations. The Board has requested some changes. Once completed, the material will be circulated to the membership for comment.

The second change to the bylaws has to do with members reporting any criminal convictions they may have had to the Institute. Our law firm made this recommendation a few years ago, and the Governance Committee was asked to investigate. Many other professional bodies impose this requirement on their members, and having members report their criminal convictions would give the Institute an opportunity to assess and determine if such a conviction would impair the member’s ability to provide professional services.

Consider that Rule 11 of the Rules of Professional Conduct states, "A member shall be subject to the Institute’s disciplinary procedures if the member is convicted or found guilty of or pleads guilty to any criminal or similar offence." So, there is a requirement for reporting criminal convictions, but no mechanism for members and prospective members to do so. The bylaw change will take care of this gap.

Our next discussion was on the CIA’s bid to host and organize the 2026 International Congress of Actuaries, or ICA. The Institute submitted a letter of intent to bid to the IAA, which was accepted. Our competitors are Japan and South Korea.

Since the acceptance of our intent to bid, a small working group created by our International Relations Council and headed up by Bob McKay, has worked closely with the CIA Head Office and Tourism Vancouver to draft our bid. The Chair of the ICA 2026 Organizing Committee is Jason Vary, and the Chair of the Scientific Committee is Alexis Gerbeau. The detailed bid application was presented to the Board, which passed a motion empowering the IRC to submit the final bid by the February first, 2016 deadline. From there it will go to the IAA executive council at its meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, in May 2016. A decision by the council is expected in November 2016.

Next up was the annual report to the Board by the Actuarial Standards Oversight Council. ASOC Chair Tricia O’Malley delivered the presentation. ASOC’s key issues were of great currency. ASOC has also been considering the public interest it was intended to serve. Stakeholders are satisfied with the ASB’s output but have expressed concern about timeliness of that output and just how sustainable a wholly volunteer system is, especially considering the increasing activity on the international level. Tricia noted that questions have been raised about the sometimes different approaches adopted in the standards for economically similar products or circumstances. The question is whether the differences are justifiable?

Paul Reaburn, Chair of the Actuarial Foundation of Canada board delivered the foundation’s annual report to the Institute. Paul reported that it has been a very successful year for the AFC, with high demand for funding through the Youth Education Committee; more funded programs and more awareness of the AFC’s activities through additional communications and presence at conferences and meetings. Aside from youth education, the AFC is looking into involvement in financial literacy activities and research.

Pierre Dionne, Chair of the Practice Council, presented its Annual Report to the Board. Last year, the PC published five revised educational notes, a research paper, five educational notes, a draft educational note, and quarterly educational notes. As well, the PC wrote two submissions and issued an own risk and solvency assessment survey, and took over the skills and knowledge inventory. The Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting and the Property and Casualty Insurance Financial Reporting Committee presented their fall letters, and the Pension Plan Financial Reporting Committee presented its quarterly and yearly update to the Guidance for Assumptions for Hypothetical Wind-Up and Solvency Valuations.

Faizel Alladina delivered the Annual Report of the Research Committee or ResCo. Faizel took over the chair of ResCo from Dave Dickson in October and has worked hard to fully control the extensive work plan and budget that this committee has. There are a number of RFPs in play at the moment which will result in committed projects shortly. ResCo initiated a committee feedback survey and implemented a new research approval process and checklist. Four research projects are scheduled for approval by the end of the year and new liaison roles have been created for several external groups. The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries has called for several large research projects to be conducted in partnership with other actuarial associations. The SOA is doing the same. Some good ideas have emerged, but work needs to be done to narrow the scope. Frankly, ResCo is not suffering from a lack of good research ideas but does need more volunteer support to meet the growing number of research opportunities. If you are interested in serving on ResCo, please contact the Institute’s resident actuary, Chris Fievoli.

Mathieu Boudreault and Thomas Hinton, Co-chairs of the Education Syllabus Committee, presented the first-ever syllabus for the ACIA and FCIA. The syllabus will be the benchmark against which all CIA education partners will be evaluated from here on, and it sets out the minimum requirements for Associate and Fellow education.

The syllabus aims to produce actuaries who are recognized internationally for work of the highest professional actuarial standards. It does this by laying out a balanced education, including theoretical concepts, technical material, practical applications, professionalism, communications, and general business acumen, while meeting the IAA and CERA global syllabus requirements and enhancing these syllabi with Canadian-specific content where appropriate.

The Board was impressed by all the work and thought that has gone into the syllabus project. Thanks to the many volunteers. After some fine-tuning, the syllabus will be published early in the new year.

The next project I want to share with you is the University Accreditation Program First Principles Review. After three years of operation, the UAP policy requires that such a review be conducted. Since UAP was first launched, it has gained in acceptance by CIA members, actuarial employers, students, and the Institute’s education partners. A key goal of the UAP is to leverage the high quality education provided by Canadian universities, reduce overlap in the preliminary education and examinations, and to enhance the quality of the ACIA and FCIA designations. The report included a detailed analysis of the proportion of students who achieved the required grade for credit for some of the preliminary actuarial examinations, benchmarked against the overall passing percentages on preliminary examinations. The report concluded that the proportion of candidates achieving the credit grade was lower than the average passing percentage by university students on exams. This indicates UAP is not an easier route than taking professional examinations, particularly given the fact that students must achieve the required grade on multiple courses to receive credit for one professional exam. We feel that even at this early stage, that our objective of enhancing quality has been met.

Accreditation actuaries are taking their roles seriously and putting the interests of the Institute and UAP process in the forefront. Universities are sharing education and assessment processes. There is consistency in the examination and grading processes. And among many students, UAP has become the preferred route. And what needs to be improved? It takes a lot of administration to keep the system moving. There needs to be some streamlining of processes to accommodate changing syllabi and technological changes. The report also contains the results of a member and employer survey conducted earlier this year. We still have work to do to ensure employers understand UAP and recognize it within their internal programs.

Fall is always a busy time for actuarial associations. I was honored to represent the Institute at the SOA and CAS annual meetings. As well, the CIA helped the American Academy of Actuaries celebrate its 50th Anniversary at its Annual Meeting.

At these meetings we take advantage of the fact that the leadership of the associations are together and we schedule bilateral meetings to help move joint issues forward. For example, at the AAA meeting, we finalized the cross-border discipline agreement that we announced on November third.

At the IAA meeting in Vancouver, it was very apparent that the CIA is active on many IAA committees, and is capably led by the IRC chaired by Dave Pelletier. While there, we met with the Institute of Actuaries of Japan as an introductory meeting, and the Actuarial Society of South Africa to discuss education of actuaries in banking and to finalize a mutual recognition agreement. We met with the CAS to discuss common education interests and the SOA for ongoing talks on a memorandum of understanding on education principles, UAP, their general insurance track, and a mutual recognition agreement. Finally, we met with the IFoA to discuss their new designation, the Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) which is a career pathway designed to enable students to study for the qualification while working full-time.

We are getting quite close to signing a number of agreements with our partners, the AAA, SOA, and CAS for the Actuaries Climate Index or ACI. The research work has been completed and the effort on the ACI website should start shortly, with a launch target of mid2016. The overall responsibility for the CIA’s part of this project now resides with the CIA’s Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, led by Karen Lockridge. I have seen a number of presentations on the ACI and I am very excited about its great potential!

Finally, I wish all of you a happy and safe festive season and the very best for 2016!

Rob Stapleford, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.
 
In Focus

 

By Pierre Dionne, FCIA

On October 5, the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) published an Exposure Draft (ED) for Standards of Practice – Use of Models. The proposal would modify part 1000 of the Standards of Practice (SOP) to clarify the duties of actuaries with respect to the use of models, whether internal or external. At the same time, the Practice Council released a Draft Educational Note – Use of Models, to help clarify the new standards for practitioners. Although the deadline for submitting comments to the ASB is now past, the deadline for comments on the draft educational note (EN) is January 8, 2016.

Why a Standard on the Use of Models?

The ED was met with criticism from some areas of practice. It is viewed by some as too onerous to comply with, while others question its utility or relevance. However, the intent of the proposed SOP is not to create additional work for actuaries. Rather, testing models and documenting such tests is considered best practice, and should be done by most actuaries already. I doubt anyone who develops a model on an Excel spreadsheet will use this model without a rigorous check of the formulas for accuracy and reasonableness. The proposed modifications to part 1000 only serve to highlight what actuaries are, or should be, already doing.

The Definition of a Model

The ED defines a model as "a practical representation of relationships among entities or events using statistical, financial, economic, or mathematical concepts. A model uses methods, assumptions, and data that simplify a more complex system." Based on this definition, the EN provides examples of what is or is not a model. Whether a calculation is a model or not hinges, in my view, on the second sentence above, and the fact that a model simplifies a more complex system. To provide further examples, calculating the market value of a bond would not be a model. This follows since the market value of a bond is based on known amounts such as the par value, the maturity date, the coupon rate, and the payment period. However, the standard practice of P&C actuaries to calculate a discount rate based on a bond portfolio by adding assumptions around reinvestment rates and bonds default would be a model as it makes simplifying assumptions around future unknown events.

Proportionality

Both the ED and EN introduce the concept of proportionality, the ED stating that "the strategies to mitigate model risk would depend on the financial significance that an incorrect model run would have on the work." The EN introduces the concept of risk-rating a model. The method presented is but one of the strategies available to an actuary in deciding the degree of review to be done on a model.

It goes without saying that reputational risk to the actuary also features prominently in the degree of review of a model. One would expect that an actuarial evidence actuary would review the model used to calculate the commuted value of a pension for a marriage breakdown three times rather than once before heading to court. Similarly, a Canadian Asset Liability Method (CALM) model would be subject to greater scrutiny given the immediate financial impact of a mistake, as opposed to a Dynamic Capital Adequacy Testing (DCAT) model which deals in identifying future risk.

New Versus Existing Models

Common sense would suggest that a newly developed model would be subject to greater scrutiny than when reusing an existing model. However, this does not mean that an existing model would not be subject to some degree of review. In large firms, models may be accessible by several individuals, and are usually subject to continuous improvements. One should never assume that a model that worked correctly the prior time will work correctly in the current run. Strategies exist to minimize these risks, such as locking all areas of a model except for input areas, and clearly documenting all changes performed to a model. With proper controls in place, the work required to satisfy the ED for existing models should be minimal.

Conclusion

The EN tries to bring a certain level of practicality to the ED. Again, the goal of the ED is not to create work for actuaries, but rather to formalize what should already be happening at firms and companies across the country. It is my opinion that the Modelling Task Force chaired by Bob Howard did a superb job with this first version of the EN. However, I am also convinced that the EN could be improved further. This is where you come in. Please take a few hours to review the EN, and let us know if any areas need more clarification, or whether you disagree (or agree) with any sections of the EN. Please send comments to Bob Howard, Chair, Modelling Task Force at bob@howardfamily.ca or Chris Fievoli, CIA resident actuary at chris.fievoli@cia-ica.ca. We look forward to receiving your comments prior to the deadline of January 8.

Pierre Dionne, FCIA, is Chair of the CIA Practice Council.
 
Actuaries on the Move

Mary Forrest, President and CEO, North America (life) at Munich Re, was named a 2015 Woman to Watch by Business Insurance.


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 actuarial 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 bonnie.robinson@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 onTwitter.

 
Insight Decision Solutions
Public Utilities Board
RGA Canada
Institute News


Each year is full of activity for the CIA, advancing actuarial science and its application for the well-being of society through education, member support, accreditation, and contributions to public policy issues. Of course, 2015 was even busier than usual, as the Institute celebrated its 50th anniversary.

50th Anniversary

March 18, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the act of federal Parliament that incorporated the CIA. To mark this milestone, and the organization’s 50th year, the Institute was involved in a number of commemorative activities, including the following:

Education

The Institute conducted a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) needs analysis survey to better serve members’ continuing education needs. One of the results of the survey was a request from the membership for more free CPD. Starting in January, the CIA will periodically feature free archived webcasts for members.

We completed the CIA’s first education syllabus, and conducted the first major review of the University Accreditation Program (UAP). The UAP review involved a review of all 11 accredited universities, surveys of members, students, and academics, and an in-depth analysis of student data.

We updated our mutual recognition agreement (MRA) with Australia, and entered into a new MRA with South Africa. We also renewed our memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Actuarial Students’ National Association (ASNA). Lastly, we launched a graduate scholarship program.

This year’s programming also included regular activities such as the Pension, Investment, Actuarial Evidence, and Appointed Actuary seminars, and numerous webcasts. Members can expect more excellent programming in 2016.

Submissions and Public Positions

During 2015, the CIA produced over 20 submissions to governments and organizations from across Canada, on diverse topics including the following:

The Institute also published a number of public positions on the following issues:

Membership

At the start of the year, we took several months to rebuild our membership database from past yearbooks so that we could produce the member wall at the annual meeting. We now have a database of everyone who has ever been enrolled in the CIA (7,329 members as of June 2015).

With over 5,000 members, the CIA is a strong voice for the actuarial profession in Canada. We continue to strive to reach our members effectively, and to respond to their requests. In December, the New Members Committee sent out a survey to recent Associates and Fellows to determine the needs of new members in the Institute with respect to volunteering, CPD, and the overall value that the Institute provides. We will use the results to help us increase that value in 2016.

Impression Audit

In 2015, the CIA commissioned an impression audit as part of the Institute’s long-term strategic goals and the Board commitment to public engagement.

The impression audit performed by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR), a research and polling firm, was based on 34 in-depth interviews of a cross section of CIA stakeholders who were asked about the major risks facing Canada, their attitudes towards actuaries and the CIA, and the routes open to the CIA for engaging in public affairs. Some of the challenges identified for the CIA include the following:

  • Communicating with key decision-makers;
  • Perceived as marginal player. Need to grow profile;
  • Bypassed as journalists prefer to go to individual actuaries; and
  • Perceived to be reticent to take strong positions.

The CIA plans to offer a webcast to members on the results of the impression audit early in 2016, as the final report will help inform future strategic direction of public policy engagement.

Of course, none of this work would be possible without the volunteer work of CIA members. We thank them for their exceptional work during 2015 and their continuing support in 2016.

 

 

By Chris Fievoli, FCIA

Canada played host to the most recent set of council and committee meetings of the International Actuarial Association (IAA) this past October in Vancouver. Delegates from 38 countries participated in five days of meetings, discussing a wide range of international topics of interest to the profession. Most CIA members are likely aware of the importance of international developments in the actuarial world, but they may not be familiar with the operations of the IAA and the significant role that Canadian actuaries play. This and future (e)Bulletin articles will provide readers with some insights into the activities of the IAA, primarily through a recap of activities at the most recent set of meetings. 

Despite ranking 37th in world population, Canada has played a leading role internationally in the actuarial profession. Our standards are respected worldwide, with some countries looking to them as they develop their own. Four Canadians have served as presidents of the IAA and its predecessor organization, the International Forum of Actuarial Associations (IFAA). When it was time to choose a home for the IAA secretariat in the mid-nineties, our nation’s capital was the winner. The CIA wants to ensure that it remains fully engaged in the activities of the IAA. Through the coordination of the CIA’s International Relations Council, CIA members sit as representatives on over two dozen IAA committees, subcommittees, working groups, and task forces.

This article will highlight the activities of a few specific committees at October’s meeting.

Actuarial Standards Committee

Work continues on a number of proposed International Standards of Actuarial Practice (ISAPs), including ISAPs 1A and 5 (governance of models and insurer enterprise risk models), which are currently open for comments until March. Progress continues on ISAP 4 (supporting the proposed insurance contracts International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)), but an exposure draft will not be available until the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has completed its work. ISAP 7, which addresses the work being done by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) on insurance capital standards (ICS), is also moving forward. All of these will have direct relevance to Canadians, as the Actuarial Standards Board will need to decide how to reflect them within Canadian standards.

Education Committee

Work is nearing completion on the development of an international syllabus. A vote to approve the syllabus was originally scheduled for the October meeting, but was postponed until the next meeting in May, to allow time to address issues raised by some member associations. The CIA has been kept apprised of developments on this project, and has taken account of them in the creation of the new Canadian syllabus of education.

Insurance Regulation Committee

As mentioned above, the IAIS continues to work on the development of ICS. The IAA has been enlisted to help on a number of aspects of this project, including determination of a discount rate for field-testing purposes, reflection of diversification in a capital adequacy assessment, and the definition of current estimates. This committee also oversees the creation of the IAA Risk Book, a collection of papers which will aid users and regulators in managing the uncertainty of insurance risks. A number of new chapters will be online shortly.

In Conclusion

This is just a small sample of the numerous initiatives underway at the IAA. CIA members are encouraged to stay apprised of international developments, and to consider volunteering for IRC committees and/or IAA delegate and leadership roles as opportunities arise. The next set of IAA council and committee meetings will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia next May. Watch this space for an update following that meeting.

Chris Fievoli, FCIA, is the CIA’s resident actuary.

If you are interested in volunteering on one of the IAA committees, contact Chris Fievoli at chris.fievoli@cia-ica.ca.

 

 

By Karen Lockridge, FCIA

I can’t recall the last time that I thought about resolutions, though, it likely would have been to stop drinking coffee. I still drink coffee, and plan to continue, so on to other topics . . .

Over the past three years, I have been increasingly consumed by the topic of climate change, and related environmental and social challenges. This past year, I had the good fortune of being on the core team that produced Mercer’s research report: Investing in a Time of Climate Change. A deep dive into climate science and exposure to a broad range of thought leaders and organizations leading on climate action have given me a strong conviction about the nature of climate-related systemic risk, and the need for urgent mitigation and adaption action. If you are interested in learning more yourself, check our committee's research paper: Climate Change and Resource Sustainability – An Overview for Actuaries.

The Paris Agreement coming out of COP21 has laid out an ambitious path to keep warming below 2°C, and possibly to 1.5°C, and it provides a framework for monitoring and ramping up of commitments over time to achieve these long-term goals. I am optimistic about the world’s collective will and ability to meet these goals while providing the opportunity for sustainable development for all.

The path forward will not be easy for Canada or any other nation. The hard work on policy development and implementation now begins. With this backdrop, here are my resolutions for 2016:

  • Connect with younger actuaries – The younger generation are our leaders of the future. They will inherit the world we leave behind. I’d like to spend more time in 2016 hearing their perspective on climate change.
  • Collaborate with other organizations – My professional network has expanded massively in the last three years as I became more involved in sustainability-related topics. Our Climate Change and Sustainability Committee has benefited immensely from collaboration with other actuarial organizations through sharing ideas and material. More of this for 2016!
  • Write more articles and give more speeches – I have been telling myself this for ages. Writing takes time, particularly when my thoughts and views need clarifying. But clarity is exactly the purpose of spending the time. Effective communication is well-thought-out and prepared. 
  • Appreciate nature – I have always enjoyed spending time in nature, but recently I have felt a new appreciation for its grandeur and also the fragility of the environment, the animals, and ecosystems. I find now that I enjoy walking slowly in nature and enjoying the smell and colour of the trees!

On that note, I hope that all of you are able to spend time in nature with your family and friends over the holidays. All the best for 2016!

Karen Lockridge, FCIA, is a director on the Board and Chair of the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee.

 


By Marc Tardif, FCIA

Prior to 2014, the CIA Discussion Listserver Policy had not been reviewed since 2006, when a number of changes were drafted and approved by volunteers at that time to reflect the communications circumstances of the day.

Two things happened to compel the review of the policy in 2014. The first was a report from the CIA Policies Task Force chaired by Simon Curtis in early 2013. The task force had a mandate to review all CIA policies to ensure that they were appropriate, required, and current. The task force referred the Discussion Listserver Policy to the Member Services Council (MSC) for review and action.

The second event was a follow-up note to the chair of the MSC in September 2013. The note mentioned that in its current form, the listserver document was not a policy per se. The task force recommended that the document be modified and retained as a policy or moved to the Rules of Professional Conduct or the Bylaws.

The MSC, which I chaired at the time, appointed a working group consisting of CIA members Frank Grossman, Marc-André Belzil, and Claire Bilodeau, to the task of reviewing all the policies assigned. The Discussion Listserver Policy was saved until last, as at the time other documents were in higher need of updating. Les Dandridge, CIA director, communications and public affairs, served as staff support for their work.

The working group launched its efforts on the listserver policy, focusing on the feedback that the current policy did not take the form of a typical CIA policy, but was more a list of rules.

The group decided that listserver behaviour was not an appropriate subject for addition to the Rules of Professional Conduct (although the rules were certainly part of the background of many working group discussions) and they also felt that it would be inappropriate to go through the complicated process required for a bylaw change for what should be a simple thing: creating an online environment which encourages communication among professionals.

At the end of the discussions, the group decided that, to support an online environment where all members feel comfortable discussing ideas in a collegial atmosphere, changing the listserver policy to a terms of use (TOU) document would resolve the issues that the task force had pointed out, and would help bring more light and less heat to many listserver exchanges.

Many elements of the former policy were maintained, but the key changes included the following:

  • A shift in philosophy about the discussion listservers. Subscription and access were to become privileges rather than rights of membership. The implicit contract did not change, but with privileges come responsibilities. Subscribers would need to treat their fellow members with courtesy and professional respect. CIA Head Office staff could post messages. And CIA officers do not communicate on discussion listservers.
  • The TOU would encourage all members to participate by establishing and maintaining a professional and constructive environment for communication.
  • The discussion listservers were to still be unmoderated, as they had been from their start. They are monitored to ensure that the TOU are followed, but once a member sends an e-mail, the member’s message is delivered directly to subscribers.
  • In the policy being replaced, subscribers who contravened the policy received a mandatory warning. This was seen as not being effective and the working group decided to make warnings optional.
  • Subscribers whose privileges are suspended can appeal their suspension to the chair of the Member Services Council, whose decision is final.
  • The CIA’s director of communications was given the authority to enforce the TOU, as what was being monitored was not actuarial in nature, but focused more on the tone of the exchanges.
  • In terms of tone and content, the same very clear and simple standard that applied in the policy was maintained. "Statements that would be inappropriate in a session at a CIA meeting are inappropriate for a discussion listserver." Of course differences of opinion will occur, but following this standard in a cooperative way would help.

Once the working group was satisfied with their document, they sent it to the MSC for discussion and approval, which happened on October 22, 2014, by a vote of MSC members.

Marc Tardif, FCIA, is the Board liaison to the Member Services Council.

 

 

In early December, Elliot Hughes, CIA manager of public affairs, announced that he was leaving the Institute to take on the role of policy advisor to the federal Minister of Finance, the Honourable Bill Morneau, PC, MP.

Over the past year, Elliot worked with many CIA volunteers and leaders to help move the yardsticks on the Institute’s strategic goal of "being recognized by the Canadian public as the leading contributor to dialogue, analysis, and solutions in all areas related to understanding and quantification of future financial contingencies and risks."

He did this in a unique and determined way with the Pension Advisory Committee, the Public Policy Committee, the Health Committee, and with the CIA Board and leadership. Elliot produced excellent work on public positions, the Institute’s Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) engagement, handling the media, and leading the team that produced the impression audit report for the Board. This qualitative research was designed to help leadership understand the current profile and impact of the Institute and actuaries on government and business stakeholders, and explored public policy/issues engagement for the profession in the future.

His colleagues and volunteers are sad to see him go, but wish him the very best in his challenging new role.

 
Note: the CIA Head Office will close at noon on December 24 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. ET on January 4. We wish all of our members a happy holiday.
 
Events News


During 2015, we conducted a survey of member needs and preferences with respect to topics, formats, and timing of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). One request came through loud and clear: more free CPD!

Therefore, in the new year, the monthly (e)Bulletin will periodically feature archived webcast topics at no charge for members.

Here is the first offering:

The Challenges of Working Internationally

Speakers:
Dave Pelletier, Chair, International Relations Council
Réjean Besner, managing director, Swiss Re Europe
Michael Cohen, consultant

Canadian actuaries working abroad can face many challenges—political, cultural, linguistic, and regulatory, to name a few. Our presenters have substantial experience working in overseas jurisdictions, and share their thoughts on issues Canadian actuaries could encounter in these areas, and potential strategies to overcome obstacles. This webcast will be of interest to all members, particularly those contemplating working abroad.

To access the webcast, click here:

http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/829c8ccp/lan/en

 
Social Media and the CIA

After almost three years on Twitter, the CIA made its 1,000th English tweet on December 17, 2015, which highlighted some social media savvy #actuaries.

 

The CIA uses Twitter to keep members informed of industry trends/reports and CIA events. It also helps to reach employers, policymakers, and the general public to educate them on the actuarial field and highlight the benefits of working with actuaries. "A growing number of CIA members are engaging with us on Twitter," says Kelly Fry, CIA manager, marketing. "Ensuring there is value to our followers in our tweets is critical to engagement."

As of the date of publication, the CIA had over 2,000 followers from around the world, including actuaries, pension lawyers, risk management specialists, university math departments, media, and a variety of corporations in the finance and insurance fields.

Going forward, Fry would like to see more members engage on Twitter and our other social media channels. "Promoting the great work that actuaries are doing by tweeting about trends and issues affecting the financial security of Canadians is of the utmost importance," she says.

Follow us on Twitter @CIA_Actuaries.

 
Volunteers on the Move

Board

The membership of the following committee and panel for 2015–2016 has been approved, effective immediately:

  • Elections Committee: Joe Nunes, Pierre Lepage, and François Boulanger; and
  • Tribunal Panel: Simon Curtis (Vice-chair).

Member Services Council

The following people have been (re-)appointed to the (sub)committees named below:

  • Communications Committee: Jason Alleyne (Vice-chair), effective November 10, 2015;
  • Editorial Panel: George Cheng-Pin Wan, effective September 30, 2015;
  • Group Life and Health Subcommittee: Jean-Philippe Simard, effective June 9, 2014, Chris Fung, effective June 1, 2012, and Tim Griffin, effective June 27, 2014; and
  • Individual Life Experience Subcommittee: Damien Lapointe Nguyen (Vice-chair), Lynn Allen, John Pfeffer, and Anh-Khoa Le (Dan), effective December 15, 2015.

The Steering Committee – Public Policy on Retirees has been disbanded with thanks.

The following people have completed their terms with, or resigned from, the groups named below, and have left with thanks:

  • Enterprise Risk Management Applications Committee, Patrick Duplessis, effective November 13, 2015;
  • Research Committee: Claire Bilodeau, effective October 22, 2015;
  • Group Life and Health Subcommittee: Alain Dagneault, effective January 1, 2015, Michel Simard, effective June 30, 2014, and Isabelle Bouchard, effective June 1, 2012; and
  • Individual Life Experience Subcommittee: Blake Hill, Scott Spencer, and Rhys DeGrave, effective December 14, 2015.

 
Head Office Update

 

By Michel Simard, Executive Director, CIA

As 2015 draws to a close, I think we can all agree that it was a hectic year for the CIA. Not only did we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Institute, we also moved forward with our public interest portfolio and the Board’s strategic plan to develop non-traditional areas of practice, contribute to public policy debates pertaining to future financial contingencies and risks, expand the CIA’s educational output, and increase member engagement.

During the year, we made over 20 submissions to various governments and organizations across the country; we published public positions on pensions, health care, and climate change; we approved and published several research projects. We held numerous seminars and webcasts, and held a formal review of the University Accreditation Program (UAP).

In September, the Board received the results of the impression audit, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR), a research and polling firm. The results will help guide the strategic direction of the CIA’s public policy engagement. Early in 2016, we will hold a webcast for members to present the results of the impression audit. Watch for an announcement about this important information session. In 2016, we will continue to contribute to public policy with upcoming submissions on the following:

  • Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA) strategic plan;
  • International Standards of Actuarial Practice (ISAP) 1A and 5;
  • Recognition and Measurement of Social Benefits (with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB)); and
  • Priorities for Canada’s health care system.

Research papers on the following topics will be reviewed and approved for release:

  • Extended Health Care and Dental Experience: A Report on a Post-employment Benefits Experience Study
  • Tax-Deferred Retirement Saving in Canada
  • Canadian Individual Annuitant Mortality Experience – Policy Years 2002–2011
  • Segregated Funds Policyholder Behaviour Study
  • Critical Illness Claims Study for 2015–2016
  • Genetic Testing Model for CI: If Underwriters of Individual Critical Illness Insurance Had No Access to Known Results

The Board also discussed proposed changes regarding the protection of the public interest. This work arose from the First Principles Review of the CIA’s approach to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and the recommendation by the 2014–2015 Governance Committee to introduce a requirement for members and those entering the CIA to report criminal convictions.

The report calls for bylaw changes to be voted on by members. There will be a 45-day consultation process with members in January and February. The usual protocol for bylaw changes, once the Board approves them, would then follow in April/May, and include additional informational webcasts, proxy voting, and finally discussion and approval at the General Business Session at the Annual Meeting in Newfoundland in June.

The upcoming year promises to be a busy one indeed!

I would like to thank our dedicated volunteer members and CIA Head Office staff for their tireless work in helping the Institute with its usual activities, while taking on the extra duties required to make our 50th anniversary celebrations so meaningful.

I wish you and your loved ones all the best for the holiday season, and a happy and prosperous 2016.

Michel Simard is the CIA’s Executive Director.