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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

March 2016
Elliott Bauer
D.W. Simpson & Company
Eckler Ltd.
President's Update


By Rob Stapleford, FCIA
CIA President

In an effort to provide current information and transparency on issues facing your Board, I want to share the results of the Board’s discussions on several important issues examined at its meeting on March 23 with members in a timely manner.

Protect the Public: Continuing Professional Development and Disclosure of Criminal Convictions

There was substantial feedback from members regarding the proposed bylaw changes related to continuing professional development (CPD) and disclosure of criminal convictions. The Board thanks the many members who took the time to provide thoughtful comments on the proposed bylaw changes. The Board gave careful consideration to the comments, which included suggestions on different approaches to these issues. Thank you.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The Board has decided not to proceed with the proposed changes on CPD. There was substantial member resistance to the use of the "non-practicing" (NP) designation and many good points were made. Concerns included potential negative implications for those using the NP designation, whether this measure would truly enhance the public’s protection, creation of confusion for the public, and resistance from many members who indicated they would not use a designation with a qualifier. Your comments advised the Board to focus its efforts on improving CPD compliance through education and enforcement rather than by forcing the use of a qualifier with the designation.

The comments also indicated concerns with the current CPD structure and reporting. It is clear that more education is required around what qualifies as acceptable CPD in non-traditional areas.

The Board continues to believe that the CIA must enhance its efforts to ensure that CIA members remain current in their chosen area of practice. As a result, we will establish a special task force to work with the Eligibility and Education Council (EEC) to focus on CPD compliance by looking at the following areas of our CPD requirements:

  • Continuation and potential enhancement of the annual auditing of members’ CPD compliance statements, as well as activities (where applicable), in order to ensure that accurate and appropriate filings are being submitted;
  • Fostering greater awareness of what qualifies as acceptable CPD. Our current requirements enable members to decide what acceptable CPD is for them. Members who are working in non-traditional areas of practice are able to use CPD in their practice area. CPD requirements are not intended only for those members practicing in reserved roles;
  • Potential simplification of CPD requirements and CPD reporting requirements; and
  • Availability of CPD programs through easy-to-use options such as webcasts.

Disclosure of Criminal Convictions

The Board carefully considered the comments on disclosing criminal convictions and decided to proceed with the proposed bylaw changes.

Rule of Professional Conduct (RPC) #11 states that, "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". Without a requirement to disclose, the CIA has little ability to enforce RPC #11 and could mislead the public that RPC #11 is truly effective.

Some members expressed a desire for greater time before the new measures take effect. The Board agreed that the disclosure requirements would become effective on September 1, 2016, with the exception of the requirement to disclose all past criminal convictions, which would be extended to July 1, 2017, in order to allow members time to initiate the process of seeking a record suspension, if they choose to do so. The time needed to obtain the record suspension may go beyond that date, but it allows members the time to apply for it, and to indicate, as part of their disclosure to the CIA, that the process is underway.

All new applicants to the Institute would be required to disclose past criminal convictions as of September 1, 2016 and existing members who are convicted of a criminal offence after September 1, 2016, would be required to disclose it within 30 days of the conviction.

Several members expressed concern that more information was not provided on what offences would be referred to the Committee on Professional Conduct (CPC). Under the current proposal, a new committee will be created to develop the criteria to be used to determine which convictions would be referred to the CPC. These criteria would need to be the same as those that would be used by the CPC in addressing convictions under RPC #11. Consultation with the CPC will be an important part of developing reasonable and consistent criteria.

The implementation team did not think that it would be possible to develop a list of criminal convictions prior to the committee looking at each unique situation. The Board will review what criteria are established and communicate with the membership before they are implemented.

Several members commented that the CIA should not be taking further action when a member has already been convicted and presumably punished. The proposed bylaw changes only require the disclosure of convictions. It will be up to the new committee and then the CPC to decide whether any action is needed and if so, what action is required under the terms of the CPC’s disciplinary process. The intent is to deal with convictions for matters which could put the character of the member in question, tainting his or her ability to provide professional services, or undermine (perhaps irreparably) the trust of the public. It is not meant to add unreasonably to prior penalties.

The Board shares the concern which surfaced about confidentiality and privacy. Every effort will be made to administer this requirement with the utmost attention to protecting the privacy of those who disclose convictions. The CIA will seek to learn from the experiences of other actuarial organizations which have faced this issue.

There were comments on the wording of the proposed bylaw changes and this aspect will be reviewed and any changes will be submitted to the Board for final approval at a special meeting in April. The final proposed bylaw changes will be released to the members in accordance with CIA Bylaws. We will schedule webcasts to explain the proposals and respond to member inquiries. The final vote will occur at the General Business Session at the CIA Annual Meeting, June 28–29 in St. John’s.

Proxy voting will be permitted so that all members will be able to take part in the decision.

Strategic Plan Update

The Board conducted a special meeting in Toronto in January to further its work on strategic initiatives that the CIA should address. Working groups were asked to report back to the Board on specific actions in each of the four identified areas.

  • Influencing public policy: Jacques Tremblay has agreed to chair a Blue Ribbon Task Force to review the CIA’s strategy and execution of influencing public policy. A task force of 14 members has been recruited. This group will meet two or three times over the next three months and report its findings and recommendations to the Board in June.
  • Support for the development of emerging areas of practice: Claude Ferguson reported on behalf of the working group which had prepared a report that included a mandate for a future Emerging Practice Committee (EPC). The work of this committee will fall under the Member Services Council which will consider recruiting at its meeting in April. The Board recognized that the work of the EPC will take time and will require contact both with other actuarial organizations that are facing similar challenges and employers of actuaries in non-traditional roles.
  • Education: Angelita Graham reported on behalf of the EEC, which has overall responsibility for education initiatives. Working groups have been created to address the future of the Practice Education Course, further evolution of the CIA syllabus to prepare future actuaries for what is likely to be a different employment market, and the long-term direction of the CIA in education. This work will require coordination with the proposed EPC and the International Relations Council (IRC) on actions proposed by the International Actuarial Association (IAA) and our education partners including the Society of Actuaries, the Casualty Actuarial Society, and universities.
  • Overall governance assessment: The meeting in January identified the need for the CIA to review the effectiveness of its operating structure. The CIA has done this before and the Board agreed that such a review is once again needed. Dave Dickson and Michel Simard discussed how we will proceed with this review. The working group has engaged Don McCreesh, who facilitated the January session, to assist in this work and provide an external perspective.

The Board had concluded in January that excellence in branding and international activity should be part of all the CIA does and did not require a specific activity. The Board discussed some of the actions that must stay on the CIA’s radar in these areas.

Bylaw 19.01 and 19.02 – Public Pronouncements of Opinion

The Governance Committee (GC) reviewed bylaws 19.01 and 19.02, which cover the Institute’s ability to issue public opinions under conditions identified by the Board. Dave Dickson, Chair of the GC, brought forward draft proposals for discussion.

The Board recognized that these bylaws could be impacted by the work of the Blue Ribbon Task Force chaired by Jacques Tremblay. The discussion was general and will provide the task force with a guide to the Board’s thinking. If the task force proposes changes to the bylaws and the Policy on the Approval of Public Positions, the required consultation and voting procedures will be undertaken this fall.

Budget for 2016–17

Secretary-Treasurer John Dark presented the proposed 2016–17 budget. Highlights of the proposed budget included the following:

  • Overall deficit of $181,000 (deficit of $498,600 expected in 2015–16) after an allocation of $459,000 to meet future research commitments. One of the factors contributing to a deficit position in 2015–16 and 2016–17 is the funding of the new customer relationship management (CRM) system. The outlay is not expected to continue at current levels beyond 2017;
  • Research funding to remain at 9.5 percent of CIA revenues;
  • Acquisition of additional Head Office space at favourable terms;
  • A 2 percent increase in dues across all membership categories; and
  • A revised annual dues structure that introduces the following:
    1. A reduction in annual dues, rather than a full waiver of dues. Members who meet certain requirements (i.e., retirement, disability, family leave, full-time student, unemployment) will now be charged a reduced annual dues amount of $65 to cover administrative expenses. This replaces all categories of dues waivers previously covered under the Policy on Waiving Membership Dues, which has now been replaced with the Policy on Reducing Membership Dues.
    2. Category 5 – "Has reached the age of 70 years" has been eliminated. So, if a member is over age 70 and retired, the member qualifies for reduced dues of $65. If a member is over age 70 and working and does not meet the requirements of any of the reduced dues categories noted above, the member is required to pay full dues for the membership category they are in.

Additional Items

The IRC presented a revised mandate for its work. The new mandate better reflects what the IRC is doing and how it interacts with the CIA officers and other councils and committees. The IRC indicated that a presentation on the CIA’s bid to host the 2026 International Congress of Actuaries in Vancouver is being prepared for the IAA executive committee at its meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia in late May.

Thank you to Board members, council chairs, and committee/council members for all their work on behalf of the CIA. If you have questions on this update, please reach out to me at rstapleford2@cogeco.ca.

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

 
In Focus


By Marie-Hélène Malenfant, FCIA

In October, I provided an overview of the committees and task forces that the Member Services Council (MSC) oversees. This month, I’ll take a look at some interesting administrative tools that the MSC has developed over the last year to help make the work of the Institute and its volunteers more transparent and effective.

New Master Checklist for Research Reports

The idea to create a checklist to track the due process for the approval of research reports was brought up when the latest climate change research report was on the table. There was a lot of discussion around the due process of this document. Sometimes the development of a research report takes months or even years, making it even harder to follow what’s going on. Documents were coming to the MSC and it was difficult to know what had been done and how. It became imperative for MSC members to better follow the steps done before approving a paper, as some MSC members were not part of the council when the project started.

With help from Head Office staff, we developed the master checklist for research reports in support of the Policy on Due Process for the Approval of Research Reports. This checklist now accompanies each research project that is produced (research papers and reports, studies, etc.). For each research report, the communications manager at the Head Office is responsible for maintaining and completing the checklist, which is submitted along with the research report once it is completed and ready to be put to an approval vote.

Besides the name of the report and the project level, the checklist identifies important information such as the following:

  • Dates of different levels of approval including designated group, Research Committee (ResCo), and approval authority (MSC), depending on the level of the project. A 50 percent quorum is required for the approval of ResCo and the approval authority.
  • Stages of the research report, which are required information for the approval authority. These include information on the budget for the report, the peer reviewers (either CIA members or independent peer reviewer), and external input solicitation.
  • Dates related to the editing, translation, and French technical review processes for the research report.

This checklist has been referenced and used internally for a few documents already and is very useful to keep track of the steps for the approval of a research report.

New CIA Council Liaison Position Guide

When new members join the Board, a council, or a committee, they are often assigned as a liaison to other councils, committees, or subcommittees. These people liaise between the governing entity and its assigned committee or task force to ensure proper communication and coordination of information and activities. The role is important, especially to ensure synergy among the committees, exchange of content, and evaluation criteria for the approval of reports and other documents.

Within the MSC, some members have expressed concerns about the responsibilities and duties of a liaison since they were not clear. The MSC decided to officially define the role of a liaison and his/her responsibilities. The Council Liaison Guide was developed and approved at the MSC meeting in November and all liaisons across the CIA structure use it. (Make sure you are logged in to the members’ site when you click the Council Liaison Guide link.)

This guide will help volunteers and members of the Board, councils, and committees to circulate relevant information. This is more and more important as the CIA structure gets bigger and the expected response time diminishes; synergy is a key to our success.

Innovative Initiatives

The MSC works in four main hot topic areas: communication, volunteering, research, and emerging practices. Volunteering is the most significant risk for the MSC, particularly with recruitment of volunteers to leadership positions; the Volunteer Management and Development Committee is trying to find ways to manage and mitigate that risk. Research is part of the future of the profession. Thanks to many innovative research initiatives, actuaries are now involved in new non-traditional practice areas, including banking, predictive modelling, risk management, and healthcare. At the time I am writing this, the CIA is involved in a major media campaign focusing on healthcare and what actuaries can bring to this area.

Working within those emerging fields brings actuaries out of their comfort zone and makes them think outside the box. In this fast-changing world, actuaries need to follow current trends and be present in emerging practice areas so that their expertise serves the public interest. The MSC supports those initiatives and ensures that actuaries are well equipped to face new areas of practice.

Marie-Hélène Malenfant is Chair of the Member Services Council.

 
Actuaries on the Move

The recently published Tax-Deferred Retirement Saving in Canada research paper authored by Doug Chandler for the CIA and Society of Actuaries was mentioned in an article in The Globe and Mail.

Steve Finch has been appointed executive vice-president and chief actuary at Manulife. The company also appointed Cindy Forbes as its chief analytics officer.

Malcolm Hamilton was quoted in a Globe and Mail article on workplace pensions.

Patrick Kavanagh recently joined PAL Insurance in Toronto as director of actuarial services.

Jean-Claude Ménard was mentioned in an article about the public service pension plan in the Ottawa Citizen.

Jill Wagman co-authored an article in The Globe and Mail on the federal government’s plan to change the eligibility age for Old Age Security.


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 on Twitter.

 
Insight Decision Solutions
RGA Canada
Institute News

 

 

On February 3, 2016, the Board issued a Notice to Members regarding a consultation period on Proposed Changes Related to the Protection of the Public Interest regarding compliance with the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Requirements and a requirement for the disclosure of a criminal conviction.

During the consultation period, members were invited to submit comments to Lynn Blackburn, director, professional practice and volunteer services. In addition, the CIA held two webcasts (in French and English) on March 10. Both were well attended, with over 600 members taking part. A recording of the webcast is available online.

The majority of the questions during the webcast involved the proposal to create a new "non-practicing" qualifier for members who are not practicing and/or not doing CPD. A few of the webcast participants suggested other options such as the term "not-qualified" or removing the FCIA designation entirely from someone who is non-CPD-compliant. In addition, some participants wondered why the term "retired" was not suggested for use by retired Fellows, instead of the "non-practicing" qualifier.

Dave Dickson, President-elect and one of the speakers on the English webcast, and speaker Maxime-Frédéric Brochu-Leclair, Chair, CIA Committee on Eligibility, stressed that the intent of the "non-practicing" qualifier is to let the public know if an actuary is qualified. They noted that other options were discussed during the development of the proposed changes, but the task force decided that having one qualifier would limit confusion, and that "non-practicing" is a unique qualifier that applies to all who are not CPD compliant, whether they are exempt from CPD, retired, or failing to complete their CPD hours.

One questioner asked why the Institute doesn’t simply increase enforcement of CPD compliance, instead of creating what the questioner considers a second-class designation. M. Brochu-Leclair said that revoking the FCIA designation was initially considered, but in the end the task force decided that the "non-practicing" qualifier would encourage members to do their CPD to avoid having to use the qualifier. Mr. Dickson added that the intent of the proposed change is to let the public know, in as simple a way as possible, if the person is qualified. "It might not be the perfect term, or the best term to describe this," he acknowledged, "but it may result in more members doing CPD which will in turn help the profession."

There were only a few questions regarding the requirement to disclose a criminal conviction, one about whether a DUI conviction, for example, affects one’s ability to be an actuary, and the other regarding whether one must disclose a criminal conviction if one is appealing that conviction. In both cases, one must disclose the criminal conviction, but there will be guidelines in place to determine what kinds of convictions would be considered ones that would affect an actuary’s ability to perform his/her duties. In addition, consideration would likely be given to a member who has been convicted and who is awaiting an appeal of the conviction.

At its March 23 meeting, the Board reviewed comments from members and decided not to proceed with the proposed changes on CPD. The Board also considered member comments on disclosing criminal convictions and decided to proceed with those proposed bylaw changes. For more details on both of these decisions, see the President’s Update, earlier in this (e)Bulletin.

The Board will meet in April to finalize the proposal that will be presented to members during the confirmation period. During this period, the CIA will hold two additional webcasts (one in French, one in English), proxy voting, and the final vote at the Annual Meeting in June.

 


By Doug Chandler, FCIA

The CIA, jointly with the Society of Actuaries, recently published a research paper entitled Tax-Deferred Retirement Savings in Canada. Starting from the basis that employers who sponsor retirement plans have almost universally adopted arrangements that qualify for deferral of taxes, the research paper re-examines this and other fundamental choices in light of current low interest rates. None of the reasons for employers to choose tax-deferred retirement savings arrangements are as strong as they once were.

Pension or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)?

It is widely believed that individuals will be in a lower tax bracket during retirement than when they are working, and so will benefit from an arrangement such as a pension plan that defers tax. While the basic tax rate may be lower after retirement, once clawbacks and the phaseout of tax credits are added, the overall effect on disposable income is a higher tax rate after retirement. For example, the 2015 federal income tax calculation includes a non-refundable tax credit for taxpayers over age 65 (the "age amount"), but reduces this credit by 15 percent of earnings in excess of $35,466. This age amount is $7,033 and the tax credit rate is 15 percent, so the phaseout of the federal age amount is effectively an additional 2.25 percent tax on earnings in excess of $35,466 up to $82,353. For an unmarried person retiring in Ontario, additions to the basic 2015 marginal tax rates include the following:

  • Old Age Security (OAS) clawbacks (15 percent on earnings from $73K to $118K, net of taxes);
  • Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) clawback (50 percent or more on earnings in excess of OAS, up to $22K);
  • Phaseout of federal and Ontario age amount tax credits (2.25 to 3 percent on earnings from $35K to $83K);
  • Phaseout of sales, property, and energy tax credits (4 to 7 percent on middle-income earnings both before and after retirement) plus phaseout of the Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant (3.33 percent on earnings over $35K after age 65); and
  • The Ontario Health Tax (6 percent on earnings from $20K to $25K, plus 25 percent on three higher earnings bands of $600 each).

In addition to these broad-based clawbacks and taxes, many seniors will face incremental effective marginal taxes due to pharmacare deductibles, medical expense tax credits, and rent geared to income in assisted living facilities.

Historically, the tax-free accumulation of investment returns has meant that employer-sponsored registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs), pension plans, and deferred profit sharing plans (DPSPs) outperformed other investment vehicles even for employees who were in a higher effective tax bracket after retirement. With the emergence of TFSAs and persistent low interest rates, this is no longer true. TFSAs, and sometimes even non-registered savings, can outperform tax-deferred employer-sponsored plans. A spreadsheet accompanying the research paper provides a simple illustration of the combined effect of tax rates, interest rates, and time horizon on after-tax income.

Tax-deferred retirement saving through a pension plan or RRSP is still a good way to provide early retirement income prior to the commencement of OAS, GIS, and age-related tax credits. But the best strategy for lifetime retirement income after age 65 will depend on retirement age, investment returns, home ownership, marital status, and other factors. The best strategy could turn out to be one of the following:

  • Relying entirely on tax-deferred retirement saving prior to age 70, while deferring commencement of OAS and Canada/Québec Pension Plan (C/QPP) to maximize inflation-protected lifetime income;
  • Minimizing taxable income by drawing C/QPP at age 60 and relying on TFSA withdrawals to supplement OAS, GIS, and reduced C/QPP after age 65; or
  • A blend of OAS, C/QPP, taxable employer-sponsored retirement income, and TFSA withdrawals throughout retirement.

In order to adopt either of the first two strategies, employees will need to be able to unlock their employer-sponsored retirement income. Employers who provide locked-in, tax-deferred retirement savings through defined benefit or defined contribution pension plans might not be meeting their employees’ needs or optimizing their spending on retirement income.

Most older employees already have significant accumulations in pension plans and RRSPs. They have been able to make TFSA contributions only since 2009; a pure TFSA strategy is not an option. For younger employees, it is difficult to construct examples in which the use of a TFSA will seriously underperform an RRSP:

  • Employees with earnings less than the year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) can typically expect the best outcomes by relying entirely on the TFSA and OAS/GIS system after age 65.
  • Middle-income employees can use a pure TFSA strategy to preserve a portion of the GIS benefit, so this strategy can marginally outperform a pension or RRSP strategy after age 65, especially if the employees take a reduced C/QPP pension at age 60.
  • For higher-income employees, maximum TFSA contributions alone will likely be insufficient, but defined contributions to a pension plan or RRSP at the 18 percent limit might also be insufficient in a low interest rate environment.

With so many different taxes and clawbacks and so many different situations, it is impossible to anticipate the tax deferral strategy that will work out best for any given employee. The optimal strategy will depend upon the following:

  • Retirement age and the starting age for C/QPP and OAS benefits;
  • Home ownership, health status, and marital status throughout retirement;
  • Actual individual rates of growth in investments, income, and consumption;
  • Future changes in tax legislation and government benefit rules; and
  • Province or country of residence when contributions and benefits are paid.

Employer or Employee Contributions?

The choice between employer and employee contributions to a pension plan is also influenced by low interest rates. Employer contributions are considered more tax-effective because they avoid payroll taxes like the Ontario Employer Health Tax, employment insurance (EI) premiums, and C/QPP contributions. With low interest rates, the reduction in C/QPP contributions for low-income employees can be less important than the resulting reduction in C/QPP benefits.

For employees earning less than $140,000 per year, the 18 percent cap on defined contributions will become an important consideration. For example, with an employer making no pension plan contributions, an employee can contribute $18,000 to an RRSP on a salary of $100,000. If the total earnings, including employer pension plan contributions, are to remain fixed at $100,000, the employer can contribute only $15,250 on salary of $84,750. With low interest rates, this lower contribution limit might be insufficient to meet the employer’s and employee’s retirement objectives.

Asset Mix and Taxes

Efforts to maximize the use of registered saving and minimize the portion of total retirement benefits that must be paid from a supplemental non-registered plan will not be as important in a low interest rate environment as they have been in the past. Lower returns mean lower investment taxes and a smaller penalty for non-registered investing. In considering the consequences of non-registered investing, there are a number of factors:

  • While a TFSA, RRSP, or registered pension plan is free of Canadian taxes on investment earnings, it is not free of foreign taxes on foreign investment earnings, and the foreign tax credit is lost when foreign taxes are withheld. This can be a particular problem for a TFSA (which is not exempt from taxes on U.S. income) and for exchange-traded funds.
  • Reduced tax rates for capital gains and Canadian dividends are applicable only to non-registered investments.
  • Risky investments generate more risk to retirement income inside a TFSA than in a non-registered account or tax-deferred account because taxes dampen the fluctuations in investment returns.

Conventional wisdom tells us that an individual with both registered and non-registered investments should put interest-bearing securities inside an RRSP and equities in a non-registered account, in order to take advantage of the reduced tax rates on capital gains and Canadian dividends. In a low interest rate environment, the equity risk premium is large relative to the yield on fixed-income investments. With a big enough equity risk premium, the tax rate on equities will produce a bigger expected reduction to the gross rate of return than the tax rate on bonds. Nonetheless, this does not lead to the conclusion that conventional wisdom is wrong. The riskiness of the overall investment strategy should be determined by considering the variability of after-tax withdrawals, not nominal account balances. For example, if a TFSA and non-registered account are the same size, allocating the entire TFSA to bonds and the entire registered account to stocks (a 50/50 asset mix overall based on nominal account balances) has a better expected after-tax return and no more risk than allocating 60 percent to bonds and 40 percent to stocks in both accounts (this assumes a 15-year time horizon, an 8 percent return with a 20 percent tax rate on stocks, and a 3 percent return with a 40 percent tax rate on bonds).

The decline in long-term interest rates over the past three decades has changed everything about retirement income plan design. Squeezing extra after-tax retirement income out of better tax and investment strategies can help, but does not address the fundamental problem of affordability. The considerations presented here and in the research paper will only be part of the movement away from tax-deferred retirement saving and obsolete pre-tax replacement ratios.

Doug Chandler, FCIA, is the Canadian retirement research actuary at the Society of Actuaries.

 


In celebration of the CIA’s 50th anniversary, the Institute created a written history of the organization. Since the story of the CIA is truly that of its members, whose collective efforts have led to the success of the profession in Canada, we invited members to tell that story in their own words.

"One summer a bunch of us focused on developing a statistical system to beat the horse races at the track in Winnipeg."

–Chris Chapman, President 1983–1984

Our history. Our achievements. is an oral history of the CIA over the past 50 years. Through the words of more than 40 members, the history of the CIA is presented in a very personal way. Learn more about the establishment of the CIA, the CIA in the public eye, the establishment of the Appointed Actuary, and the international role of the CIA and Canadian actuaries. Photos, perspectives on the CIA presidency, and thoughts on actuaries as the professionals of the future round out this special book.

I worked on Canada’s very first IBM 650 computer, which had a humongous memory bank of 2,000 decimal positions. Today a cell phone has more, but back then it represented a huge advance.

–Yves Guérard, President, 1982–1983

Our history. Our achievements. is free for members. The book will be available in late March.

Don’t miss out on this CIA memento. Order your copy of Our history. Our achievements. today.

They said, "OK, you can have your FCIA . . . but we can’t give you the certificate until next year because the guy who does the calligraphy only comes in once a year." I had to wait an extra year before I got my certificate. Now I’m signing them.

–John Dark, Secretary-Treasurer, 2013 to present

 

Douglas C. Borton, FCIA (1966), FSA (1955), FCA (1963), MAAA (1965), EA (1976)

Douglas Borton passed away February 4, 2016. After graduating from Colby College in Waterville Maine, he worked as a pensions actuary, first at Prudential Insurance and then for 30 years at Buck Consultants. After retiring in 1986, he remained active with organizations including the American Pension Conference, the Actuarial Education and Research Fund, and the U.S. Civil Service Retirement System Board of Actuaries.

Guy Karl Fors, FCIA (2008), FSA (2008)

Guy Karl Fors passed away in November 2015. After earning an honours BSc in mathematics from McMaster University and a masters of mathematics from the University of Notre Dame, he worked for eight years at Towers Wyatt, and 10 years at Mercer as a consulting actuary. No obituary notice was available.

Donald Ireland, FCIA (1993), FSA (1993)

Donald Ireland passed away in early March 2016, after complications from treatment for a blood disorder. A senior vice-president with Aon Hewitt, he spent over 28 years as a pension consultant with the company. A graduate of the University of Alberta (BSc in mathematics), he served as a CIA volunteer on a number of groups including the Committee on Professional Conduct and the Task Force on the Role of the Pension Actuary.

Frederick J. Thompson, FCIA (1969), FSA (1969)

Frederick J. Thompson passed away suddenly on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. He began his career as a life insurance actuary before moving into pension consulting, working for companies including Canada Life, John Hancock, and Mercer, eventually running his own actuarial business, Thompson Tomev Actuarial. He was an active volunteer in the CIA, honoured with the silver volunteer recognition award in 2002, having served as a director and councillor, as well as a member or chair of numerous councils and committees.

 
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!

Here are this month’s free archived webcasts:

Professionalism

Speakers:

Stephen Butterfield, member, CIA Committee on Professional Conduct
Frank Grossman, member, CIA Subcommittee on General Business and Professionalism

Following a brief summary of professionalism within the CIA, the speakers discuss case studies from various areas of practice and how they relate to the CIA Rules of Professional Conduct.

To access the webcast, click here and login:

Professionalism webcast

ORSA in Canada

Speakers:

Louis Durocher, chief risk officer, Aviva Canada
Lloyd Milani, senior vice-president and chief risk officer, North America (life), Munich Reinsurance
Hélène Pouliot, Canadian leader, risk consulting and software, Towers Watson
Jean-Yves Rioux, senior manager, actuarial, rewards and analytics, Deloitte
Michael Stramaglia, executive in residence, Global Risk Institute, and corporate director

This webcast features the panel of Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) experts from the April 2015 breakfast event ORSA Discussions Over Coffee.

The speakers share the lessons they have learned as well as best practices following the first year of ORSA compliance. In addition to answering key questions that were addressed during the breakfast seminar, they cover a number of other topics.

To access the webcast, click here and login:

ORSA in Canada webcast

 
Ethics and Professionalism

 

By Alicia Rollo, CHRL

In my October 2015 article, I mentioned that I had met Diane Girard, professor of ethics at McGill University, at the International Actuarial Association (IAA) meeting in Vancouver. Ms. Girard discussed our obligations as professional organizations to equip our members to deal with ethics issues that they may face, and she presented her Framework for Ethical Decision-Making© to the IAA President’s Forum, which is a gathering of the leadership of actuarial organizations from around the world.

It was interesting to note the reaction to Ms. Girard’s presentation and discussion. Some actuarial organizations immediately responded that yes, they were already doing a good job, others had very little reaction, and for others, it was clear that there is more that can be done. I found myself in this latter group, because while the CIA has good foundational pieces in place to promote strong professionalism and ethics among members, there is certainly more that we can do. From our initial qualification process for new Associates (ACIAs) and Fellows (FCIAs), to our continuing professional development (CPD) offerings, the CIA as an organization has a responsibility to support its members to be equipped to handle ethical issues they may encounter.

Education and Continuing Professional Development

The CIA now has its first proprietary education syllabus which is being refined for publishing. It places increased emphasis on professionalism and ethics as foundational material for Associates, and as capstone education for new Fellows. More information will be available regarding the CIA syllabus in the coming months.

With CPD, members often tell me that professionalism content is difficult to come by. Four hours of professionalism CPD over a two-year period doesn’t sound like a lot, however, there are only so many times that you can reread the Rules of Professional Conduct and have a healthy discussion about them with a colleague. So, in recent years, we have increased the number of webcasts on professionalism topics, and we make an effort to include professionalism content in the specialty seminars and the Institute’s flagship Annual Meeting each June. We occasionally even have experienced members attend our professionalism workshop, which is an educational requirement for new Associates. The workshop runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and is offered in both English (Toronto and Ottawa) and French (Montréal) a total of six times a year; it fulfils both structured and professionalism CPD.

Annual Meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland, June 28–29

Although unintentional, a theme of professionalism and ethics (informally dubbed "professionalism and ethics, an anchor in changing times") has emerged for the upcoming CIA Annual Meeting. We live and work in a fast-paced environment, trying to balance family, work, volunteer, and other personal commitments. The demands on our time and the expectations we have of ourselves and that others have of us are ever-increasing. The CIA wants to ensure that members have the tools, resources, and guidance they need, when they need it.

Bylaw Changes

Speaking of times of change, CIA members were asked for their input on two very important professionalism issues—the proposal for the CIA to have members disclose a criminal conviction, and the proposal to tighten CPD compliance rules by restricting the use of the ACIA and FCIA designations to those who are in compliance with the CPD Qualification Standard, and who file the required statement to that effect. Although the latter proposal has been dropped, it raised some interesting perspectives for discussion and debate—which have also provided members with a potential CPD opportunity in the process. On the criminal conviction issue, members will be asked to vote either electronically in advance or in person at the General Business Session at the St. John’s meeting.

Genomics

Continuing with the 2016 Annual Meeting program, which this year is being held in conjunction with the IAA Joint Colloquium, and which features several joint activities, a joint plenary session will be held on June 28 where CIA member Jacques Boudreau, Chair of the CIA’s Committee on Genetic Testing, will join a panel of experts on genomics—a topic and issue with definite ethical implications.

Michael Woodford and Corporate Whistle-Blowing

On the morning of June 29, keynote speaker Michael Woodford, former CEO of Olympus, a Japan-based manufacturer of optics and reprography products, will share his harrowing experience as whistle-blower on his own company. This is an incredible story of ethics and corporate governance that will have you on the edge of your seat. Attendees at the meeting will also have an opportunity for an intimate and interactive breakout session with Mr. Woodford following his keynote presentation. Also in the program, and back by popular demand, is Ethical Decision-Making for Actuaries. In this breakout session facilitated by Frank Grossman, FCIA, participants will discuss thought-provoking issues and cases based on the fundamentals of ethics.

Ethical Decision-Making with Diane Girard

Finally, following the presidential changeover, where CIA President Rob Stapleford will pass the torch to President-elect Dave Dickson, Diane Girard will close the 2016 Annual Meeting with a few real-world scenarios in which actuaries could likely find themselves, and how one can apply her Framework for Ethical Decision-Making©.

In Conclusion

I hope this article has provided you with a few ideas for professionalism CPD hours. Don’t forget that archived material from previous meetings is always available. Check out this month’s (e)Bulletin Events News for information on free continuing professional development.

The CIA Committee on Continuing Education and Head Office staff continue to work hard to make CIA meetings meaningful and memorable experiences for professional development and good networking, so I hope to see you in St. John’s.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome and can be sent to alicia.rollo@cia-ica.ca.

Alicia Rollo, CHRL, is the CIA’s director of membership, education, and professional development.

 
Five Questions

 

 Pierre-Philippe Carle-Mossdorf, ACIA

1. How do you spend your free time?

I would say mainly sports and travel. I started doing triathlons two years ago and now I moved up to doing Half Ironman (1.9 km swim, 90 km bike ride, and 21.1 km run). Who knows, maybe a full Ironman (3.86 km swim, 180.25 km bike ride, and a marathon, 42.2 km) next year. My second passion is travelling. I am always looking for new places to visit; I just came back from Patagonia, Argentina.

2. If you could meet any person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Probably Warren Buffet, with all the successes he had in his life and the people he met, I’m sure he would have interesting things to say and maybe a bit of advice would be nice.

3. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?

Probably 1945 for the end of World War II, as it is such an important moment in history. It must have been such a hopeful end of year knowing the war was over and change was on the horizon.

4. What skill do you wish you had?

I wish I had carpentry skills, as I really enjoy renovating and would like to create my own pieces of furniture.

5. How would your friends describe you?

I guess some of them think I’m pretty intense with all the sports that I do. My apartment is almost a sport store considering all the equipment I have.


Is there something about yourself that your colleagues would be surprised to know? To take the Five Questions challenge and appear in an upcoming issue of the (e)Bulletin, contact Bonnie Robinson, CIA English editor, at bonnie.robinson@cia-ica.ca.

 
Thoughts for Today—and Tomorrow

 

By Simon Curtis, FCIA

When I was asked to write an article for the new column Thoughts for Today—and Tomorrow, my mind immediately turned to one of the questions that I’ve been asked most frequently by younger actuaries—which is advice on what I did to achieve success in my career that they could apply to their own careers. Over the years, my answer to this question has remained quite consistent, and is still the advice I give today when asked this question.

First off, I think it’s important to realize that there is no such thing as a sure path to success—there are a lot of strong actuaries and professionals out there with similar skills and potential looking for opportunities to develop their careers, and like it or not, good fortune and chance do play a role in how our careers develop. It’s important that we always stay humble enough to realize this. And it’s important to realize that not everyone has the same career trajectory goals—the times I am usually asked this question are when individuals want to accelerate/progress their careers as strongly as they can, but this is not everyone’s goal.

So, with those thoughts, what do I recommend for individuals who want to push onward and upward as much as they can?

  • First and foremost, always dedicate yourself fully to doing the best possible job on your current work/assignment—this ultimately is the best selling point and advertisement for your potential. Focus on your current job, and not the next job you want.

  • Always make sure you report to/work with individuals who themselves are respected and viewed as leaders/high-potential people. Working on high-profile projects can also be good, but ultimately it’s working with and gaining the respect of the right people that will help push your career along. Mentoring can be good, but there is no substitute for working for and with the right people.

  • Most importantly, and I cannot emphasize this enough, seize opportunities. There is a motto that the British Special Air Service (SAS) uses that says "Who Dares Wins" which I think is very appropriate. There is no cautious approach to career advancement. Going back to my opening comment, a lot of career development involves chance—being in the right place at the right time and being given an opportunity to take on increased responsibilities, a difficult high-risk assignment, etc. Actuaries are inherently cautious and risk averse, and many actuaries make the mistake of avoiding or not pursuing opportunities where there is a risk of failure. But the reality is that taking risks and failing is not usually fatal, and in fact is better than taking no risks at all if one wants to develop one’s career.

  • Change is good. This applies to all actuaries, not just those who want to advance their career. We live in an increasingly fast-changing world, and changing roles/taking on new opportunities on a regular basis, whether with a current or new employer, is an important way to stay fresh, relevant, ready to seize opportunities, and to have a long and productive career.

  • Develop those soft skills. All actuaries are highly competent technically and most actuaries have good analytical skills. What separates actuaries tends to be the soft skills—good written skills, good verbal skills, good interpersonal skills—and these are the qualities that are very often increasingly valued as one progresses to more senior roles in one’s career.

Finally, I would offer a word on networking. Networking is very beneficial, as it’s a way to build bridges outside of your immediate work environment, but again, networking is a complement to everything above, not a substitute.

Good luck to all of you, especially the younger actuaries embarking on their careers, and I hope you find a fulfilling career path that meets your own goals.

Simon Curtis, FCIA, is chief actuary, central life reserving at Munich Re, and was CIA President in 2012–2013.

 
Volunteers on the Move

Board

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

  • Member Services Council: Benoit Miclette.

The Task Force on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Readiness has been disbanded with thanks, effective immediately.

Practice Council

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

  • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting Committee:
    • Emerging Expectation of Future Reinvestment Subcommittee: Rebecca Rycroft (Chair);
  • Standards of Practice Editing Committee: Paula Elliott and Brian Pelly, effective January 27, 2016; and
  • Committee on Workers’ Compensation: Ligia Acevedo and Ray Ying, effective February 1, 2016.

The following people have completed their term with the (sub)committees named below, and have left with thanks:

  • Standards of Practice Editing Committee: Bill Weiland; and
  • Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting Committee:
    • Emerging Expectation of Future Reinvestment Subcommittee: Michael Correa.

The Interest Rates Calibration Subcommittee of the Committee on Life Insurance Financial Reporting has been disbanded with thanks, effective immediately.

 
Head Office Update

 

By Kelly Fry

Don’t miss this opportunity to enrich your actuarial knowledge, make valuable connections, take advantage of continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities, and explore the eastern edge of Canada.

Newfoundland is a province with a rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking scenery. St. John’s infamous George Street has the most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in Canada. A popular vacation destination, accommodation and car rentals book up quickly in St. John’s, so if you plan to attend and have not made arrangements, we recommend you do so today.

This year’s event is being held in conjunction with the International Actuarial Association (IAA) Joint Colloquium. The International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association (IPEBLA), the International Association of Consulting Actuaries (IACA), the International Actuarial Association’s Pensions, Benefits and Social Security Section (PBSS), and the International Actuarial Association Health Section (IAAHS) will join CIA Annual Meeting delegates for some shared sessions and networking.

The Rally in the Alley pub crawl for CIA Annual Meeting and Joint Colloquium delegates will give you the opportunity to experience the famous nightlife of downtown St. John’s, including a traditional fish and chips dinner, local step dancing, and a chance to be welcomed into the Royal Order of Screechers. Delegates may even want to take the opportunity to extend their time in Newfoundland to explore more of the province.

 Learn more and register for the Annual Meeting today.

Kelly Fry is manager, marketing at the CIA Head Office.