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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires

December 2017
Elliott Bauer
D.W. Simpson & Company
Eckler Ltd.
President's Update

By Sharon Giffen, FCIA
CIA President

Your Board met in late November to consider the business of the Institute. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the progress made by the 500+ volunteers and our Head Office staff towards achieving our strategic goals.

Governance Matters

Since our September meeting, work continued to develop recommendations for some changes regarding the Board’s activities. Some recommendations require a membership vote to change the relevant bylaws. Consultation on these matters will start soon, after the closure of the consultation period on the changes to our CPD requirements.

On the CPD review, the Board heard a summary of the input received from members during the consultation period. The team will further consider such input; the final plan, along with its implementation requirements, will be presented for final approval to go to the membership for voting in June 2018.

Additionally, a further iteration of a revised CIA structure was presented to address issues raised during our initial targeted consultation. While no structure will be perfect, I believe that the iterative process we have been following is giving us a path to some significant improvements. Member consultation on this will commence in the new year.

Education Matters

The Board approved updates to the education syllabus. These will align the CIA with the International Actuarial Association’s newly approved syllabus, and, importantly, bring knowledge of predictive analytics onto the education path for Canadian actuaries. Education and examinations offered by our partners are also updated to bring new skills to actuaries globally.

Implementation of the new Practice Education Course (PEC 2.0) continues. Implications of the changes are far-reaching, impacting our partners under mutual recognition agreements. The Head Office staff and the volunteer group responsible are working through all such impacts, so we can be sure that we are treating all candidates for membership equitably.


As research is a foundational purpose of the CIA, the Board has asked for greater insight into the work being done by our Research Executive Committee. With the hiring of Shlomit Jacobson as manager, research projects, increased rigour is being brought to the 18 projects currently underway. We received a first cut of reporting that includes status towards completion and the funding spent and committed. The Board asked for even more summary information—importantly, how these research projects support the CIA’s strategic objectives and the value that is generated. More to come on this.

Actuarial Evidence – the Featured Practice Corner for November

The Board also heard a presentation from Jamie Jocsak about the actuarial evidence practice area.  This area is not broadly understood; it currently has about 100 practitioners. Their clients are lawyers, but the actuary does not advocate for either side in a dispute. They act as experts and thus may opine upon certain matters in court. Jamie also described the current challenges to the practice area which include the following:

  • Competition from outside the profession;
  • Lack of understanding/consideration inside the profession;
  • Attracting sufficient numbers of actuaries to the practice; and
  • Changes in legislation.

Despite these challenges, the practice area shows great promise for expansion. Actuaries have an excellent reputation in the Canadian court system, with our Standards of Practice and Rules of Conduct giving comfort to judges that an actuary can act with objectivity. The area also gives practitioners the ability to be their own boss, running an independent business, with freedom to manage work/life balance.

I think Jamie was recruiting!

Other Board Matters

The Board also received several reports and approved several items to keep the business of the Institute moving. These included quarterly financial statements, appointments, renewal of the graduate scholarship program, activities of the Global Risk Institute, and a report from the Practice Council on their strategic thinking for the future.

We also considered the operations report from the Executive Director, including a detailed report on the progress of the customer relationship management (CRM) system, which will significantly improve efficiency in the Head Office; like many large IT projects, it is behind schedule and a special committee of the Board is working with the staff to seek ways to facilitate delivery.

Finally, and importantly, we celebrated the retirement of our executive assistant, Shirley Ann Mahon, with a beautiful cake. We wish her every happiness in her new life . . . which she will start by spending several weeks in the Caribbean, out of the snow and cold of Ottawa.

Seasons Greetings!

I wish all the very best of the holiday season to each and every member of the CIA. Whether you celebrate with family or friends or by escaping to a faraway place (in the warmth), I hope everyone has the opportunity to recharge and come back to face the new year refreshed and rested. All the best of the season.

Sharon Giffen, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.


Last month’s (e)Bulletin had two errors in my update. First, Henri Boudreau of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is not an actuary. Second, the other actuary at the breakfast was Ben Marshall, SOA’s staff Fellow, Canadian membership; I omitted to mention that he was moderating the session. My apologies to both gentlemen.

Actuaries on the Move

Career developments

Karen Lockridge has been invited to join the Government of Canada’s Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Results.

Industrial Alliance has appointed Denis Ricard as its chief operations officer.

Actuaries in the media

Sadiq Adatia and Jill Wagman were named two of Canada's influential thought leaders by Benefits Canada.

Doug Andrews, Gavin Benjamin, Rosalind Gilbert, and Bita Jenab were quoted in a Benefits Canada article on how Canada’s retirement system can better address pension portability.

Jeffrey Baer’s article on data crunching appeared in the October 2017 issue of Canadian Underwriter.

Catherine Jacques-Brissette was quoted in a Globe and Mail article on the role of actuaries in fighting climate change.

Dean Connor was quoted in an article about Sun Life studying whether credit scores could be useful in underwriting in The Insurance & Investment Journal.

Karen Lockridge was quoted in a story on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration in Benefits and Pensions Monitor.

Nazir Valani was quoted in an article in Investment Executive about insurers embracing new technologies.


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 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.

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Institute News

By Chris Fievoli, FCIA

The Canadian Institute of Actuaries is very pleased to announce that Jean-François Bégin, an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at Simon Fraser University, will represent the CIA at the International Congress of Actuaries (ICA), June 3–8, 2018 in Berlin, as part of the ICA’s Young Researchers Award Program.

The ICA is a quadrennial worldwide gathering of actuaries, featuring a week of seminars, lectures, and networking opportunities. The theme of next year’s event is “Getting Closer”. The ICA is expected to draw around 2,000 actuaries, academics, and representatives from the financial industry.

The ICA’s Young Researchers Award Program includes events for academics at the start of their career who are focusing on actuarial research topics. Included in this is a research competition, whereby each actuarial organization has the opportunity to have someone represent them and present some of their work at the congress. Given the strong network of universities in Canada teaching actuarial science, the CIA initiated its own competition to select a representative, and to cover that person’s costs to present the winning thesis or paper at the Congress.

Jean-François Bégin

Dr. Bégin’s paper, "Credit and Systemic Risks in the Financial Services Sector: Evidence from the 2008 Global Crisis", was selected from six papers submitted as part of the CIA competition. The paper features the development of a portfolio credit risk model, and analyzes the credit risk of 35 financial firms, with a focus on 2005–2012. (Dr. Bégin’s co-authors were Mathieu Boudreault, Delia Alexandra Doljanu, and Geneviève Gauthier.)

A selection committee of CIA members, academics, and CIA staff reviewed the papers and determined the winning entry.

We would like to congratulate Dr. Bégin on his achievement, and trust that he will enjoy his time in Berlin next June.

We encourage CIA members interested in attending or finding out more about the congress to visit the ICA website. Be sure to register soon—the first phase of early-bird rates ends on January 31, 2018.

Chris Fievoli, FCIA, is staff actuary, communications and public affairs, at the CIA Head Office.  


By Bob Howard, FCIA

The CIA sponsors two studies of annuitant mortality experience, one individual (“IAMS”) and one group (“GAMS”). (See CIA documents 217117 and 217047 for recent publications.) The individual study has been around since the 1980s, but the group study is fairly new, with data going back only to 2007. Both studies trap very similar information. All the annuities are insured by life companies. One might expect the experience to be fairly similar.

Comparing Experience

I measure experience by actual to expected (A/E) ratios. For the expected, I used CPM2014priv and MI-2017. (There are other good choices, but the comparisons would not show up much differently by any other choice.) I always measure A/E ratios weighted by annualized income rather than count in order to emphasize the financial impact. The amount of income for actual deaths is increased slightly to allow for incurred but not reported deaths; the adjustments are company specific.

In many cases, I show the standard deviation in the A/E ratio; the calculation is done on the expected and reflects the actual variation in amount for the annuities exposed. Differences in A/E ratio that are less than one standard deviation are unlikely to be significant, but differences of more than two are likely so.

I have restricted data to 2007–2014 because I have those years for both studies. I include only ages 60–95 because there is little exposure at younger ages, and the data are less reliable at older ages.

The overall experience is shown in table 1.

Table 1

It seems reasonable to conclude that the experience for the group study is significantly higher than for the individual study because the difference in the A/E ratios is more than twice the sum of the standard deviations. But that would be a false conclusion.


The group data can be divided into two segments, one coming from defined benefit (DB) pension plans and the other from defined contribution (DC) pension plans or group registered retirement saving plans (RRSPs) (“non-DB”).

The individual data can be divided into registered and non-registered annuities, and each of those divided again. The registered data is composed of RRSP data and registered pension plan (RPP) data. The non-registered annuities, less obviously, can be separated into refund and non-refund annuities. (“Refund” means that there are some guaranteed payments, usually a term certain; “non-refund” means that all payments are subject to survival of the annuitant(s).) The non-registered, refund segment is normally referred to simply as “refund”; the non-registered, non-refund segment as “non-refund” or “non-ref”.

Table 2 shows the average size, standard deviation, and skewness of each of the six segments. It is surprising to note how close non-DB is to RRSP and DB to RPP. The two non-registered are quite different from the other segments, especially in standard deviation and skewness.

Table 2

Now let’s look at the overall results by segment (see table 3):

Table 3

We see there is little difference between DB and non-DB, but there is a difference between RRSP and RPP which is moderately significant for males and more significant for females. The difference between non-DB and RRSP and between DB and RPP is not strongly significant.

It seems that the difference between group and individual that we noticed in table 1 is accounted for almost entirely by the difference between registered and non-registered.

Let’s look more closely at the registered segments of group and individual.

Figures 1–4 compare the experience by quinquennial age groups for two segments, one from the group study and one from the individual study. The tick marks represent one standard deviation above or below the mean shown by the line. The tick marks have the same shape and colour as the lines with which they are associated.  

Figures 1 and 2 compare non-DB and RRSP for males and for females. In both cases, the blue line (non-DB) is generally higher than the pink line (RRSP), but the two are close together, and for several age groups the ranges of +/- one standard deviation from the mean overlap with each other. It may be that when we have more data we will be able to conclude that experience for RRSP is lower than for non-DB, but for now we cannot make that statement with confidence.



Figures 3 and 4 compare DB and RPP for males and for females. The two lines are very similar for males. RPP is generally higher for females; there is considerable overlap at one standard deviation. There is no evidence to support a different mortality basis for these two segments.


In comparing all four figures, it seems clear that non-DB and DB are very close together, but there seems to be a persistent difference between RRSP and RPP for both males and females. The difference seems to be less at higher ages. It might be reasonable to conclude that there is more self-selection with RRSP than with the other segments.

Size Adjustments

There is another factor at play which seems even more important than segment.

Figures 5 and 6 show the A/E ratios for the registered segments by size band. The bands are in increments of $6,000 of annualized income; the tick marks on the lines are at the location of the lower limit of each band. The highest band is for $72,000+. It is remarkable how nearly parallel the four lines are until the band $42,000–$48,000. There are not much data in each of the higher bands.


It has been observed for decades that A/E ratios tend to be lower for higher amounts. The first instance that anyone sought to quantify the impact, that I am aware of, is the CPM study. That study published a set of size adjustment factors to go along with each of the mortality tables. There were many objections raised to the use of size adjustments, such as that an individual might have a small pension from one employer and a large one from another, but that individual would have the same mortality for both pensions. The objections all seem plausible, but nonetheless the factors were a strong feature of the data.

What would happen if the size adjustments for CPM2014priv were applied to the GAMS and IAMS data? Figures 7 and 8 show the result.


Personally, I find these graphs to be startling. There is a very strong horizontal trend at least to $36,000–$42,000, especially for males. That implies that size adjustment factors developed from uninsured DB pensions work well for insured pensions and for individual registered annuities. There would be very little overlap of data between GAMS and IAMS and the data underlying the CPM tables, but a very similar pattern by size emerges from all three.

Could size adjustments explain the large difference between registered and non-registered? Figures 9 and 10 show non-registered refund for males and females, both with size adjustments. The tick marks represent one standard deviation above and below the A/E ratio.


Clearly the trend is not horizontal. There is a distinct downward trend. That implies that the improvement in mortality by size is greater for refund than for the registered segments.

Figures 11 and 12 are comparable to figures 9 and 10 but for non-registered non-refund.


The downward trend is very strong for both males and females. The A/E ratios for the largest amount band are about half (and this is after size adjustment) of what we saw for registered, and the standard deviations are small enough that we can attach a high degree of significance to the lower A/E ratios. It is very likely that this segment includes a significant number of back-to-back annuities. (These are annuities sold in conjunction with large life insurance policies, typically guaranteed T100, that would have been medically underwritten. The annuities are intended to pay the premiums. There is no need for a refund provision because the focus in on the life insurance rather than on the annuity. Accordingly, the mortality experience will be much lower than normally anticipated for annuities.)

It is likely that we are seeing the impact of heterogeneity in the non-registered segments. Some annuities are purchased independently of any life insurance, with the focus on income and with limited self-selection. Other annuities are purchased in conjunction with life insurance, and have the advantage of insurance underwriting. The latter likely predominate for larger non-refund annuities, the former for smaller annuities. The latter are likely present in the refund segment with much lower prevalence than in non-refund.


Segment matters, particularly between registered and non-registered. There seems to be sufficient justification for a difference in the pricing tables between these two.

Size matters even more. It seems very clear that there is justification for using lower mortality for larger amounts. However, I know that it may be difficult to implement a higher price for large amounts because there would be an incentive to split the funds across three or four annuities, provided that the competition between insurers is tight enough. If some insurers made a distinction in price, the largest single premiums would go to those who hadn’t made a distinction. Would the first group be willing to give up some market share to get better profit margins? This could be a developing area for pricing strategy.

Bob Howard, FCIA, is a consulting actuary.


The CIA Head Office will be closed December 25 to January 1. The office will reopen on January 2, 2018. We wish all of our members a happy holiday.

Events News

By Matthieu Landry

From January 5–7, 2018, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) kick-starts the new year by supporting future actuaries at the annual Actuarial Students’ National Association (ASNA) convention, taking place for the first time in the heart of Ottawa at the Westin Hotel.

As a grand patron sponsor, the Institute will continue to contribute significantly at the convention. The CIA career lounge and professional panels will welcome over 600 aspiring actuarial students to network with actuaries and academics from across the country. Professional headshots, courtesy of the CIA—a big hit at last year’s convention—will be on offer.

The CIA will also host its annual gala on the evening of Saturday, January 6, where CIA President-elect John Dark will speak on the growth and importance of the actuarial profession in Canada.

CIA’s Hot Seat Challenge—Putting the Spotlight on the Student

The CIA Hot Seat Challenge gives students the opportunity to share the stage with the CIA at the convention as a guest panellist. Open to CIANetwork (CIAnet) subscribers, those selected will be able to present their vision for the future of the profession and how together they can break the paradigm and forge into new areas of practice.

Students will also exercise their communication and presentation skills by contributing to the discussion, and will earn the opportunity to be featured on the CIA website as an actuarial professional of the future—a great way to get noticed by potential employers!

To participate in the hot seat challenge, students must be registered for the convention. No advance contest entry is required.

Matthieu Landry is senior coordinator, marketing, at the CIA Head Office.


 By Matthieu Landry

In a new format this year, the Pension and Investment Seminars—usually a two-day event, were combined into a one-day event—held on November 7 in Toronto highlighted current and upcoming challenges facing actuaries and their stakeholders. Both seminars offered leading-edge content, quality continuing professional development, and networking opportunities.

The Future of Public Pension Plans

Public pension plans was the key topic at the Pension Seminar, offering members a chance to provide feedback that will help develop the forthcoming CIA public statement on public pension plans.

“The Notice of Intent on [the] CIA Public Statement on Public Pension Plans was an interactive session that allowed our members to collectively discuss important topics on the future of public pension plans,” says Joseph Gabriel, staff actuary, education. “The session underlined key challenges facing public pension plans and their stakeholders. Pivotal issues such as retirement age and the future working lifetime of Canadians were discussed. Ultimately, this will help the CIA develop its forthcoming public statement on public pension plans.”

Other current issues, such as solvency reform in Ontario and increasing collaboration between pension legislators were presented. All these will be taken into consideration as the CIA moves forward with its mission of advancing actuarial science and its application for the well-being of society; in this particular case, making sure pension plans remain sustainable for both stakeholders and Canadians in general.

New Approaches for Investors

The Investment Seminar focused on contemporary topics, such as machine learning and big data, to help CIA members understand new tools stakeholders are using to assess and analyze markets.

"Machine Learning in Asset Management was a fascinating session that demonstrated the human element needed for this innovative process to work—in other words, that alpha won’t be generated by machines," says Mr. Gabriel. “Of course, the session had a focus on big data as well, such as the customized, non-linear dynamic approach to investment.

"At the end of the day, many of our stakeholders are investors. Understanding what their needs are—and tools they are currently using and planning on using in the future is important to us as actuarial professionals," he said.

Why Are Fall Seminars Important?

Mr. Gabriel adds that fall seminars, indeed any CIA event, are important, as attending allows "members to keep abreast of the latest industry trends and topics, to get a better perspective of professionals who are not necessarily actuaries, and of course, to be better prepared at serving our stakeholders at the present time and in the future."

Matthieu Landry is senior coordinator, marketing, at the CIA Head Office.

Volunteers on the Move


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

  • International Relations Council: Graham Mackay;
  • Elections Committee: Robert Stapleford, Chair, Alan Cooke, and Luc Farmer, effective July 1, 2017; and
  • Tribunal Panel: Dale Mathews and Ashley Witts.

The following person has completed his term with the committee named below, and leaves with thanks:

  • Elections Committee: Jacques Tremblay.

International Relations Council

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

  • Committee on International Insurance Regulation: Julie-Linda Laforce and Troy Haugen, effective November 17, 2017; and
  • International Insurance Accounting Committee: Dale Mathews and Jin Kui Wang, effective November 17, 2017.

The following person has completed her term with the committee named below, and leaves with thanks:

  • International Insurance Accounting Committee: Jenny Ge.

Practice Council

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

  • Committee on Property and Casualty Insurance Financial Reporting: Anya Sri-Skanda-Rajah (observer), Jean Roy, and Erika Schurr, effective October 26, 2017; and
  • Committee on Actuarial Evidence: Neil Chicoine and Bruce Michael.

The following people have completed their term with the committees named below, and leave with thanks:

  • Committee on Actuarial Evidence: Daniel Gagné; and
  • Group Insurance Practice Committee: Lyna Gendron.

Education and Eligibility Council

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

  • Committee on Continuing Education: Patrick Duplessis;
  • Predictive Modelling Committee: Patrick Duplessis (liaison); and
  • Committee on Examinations and Assessments: George Wang and Jared Mickall.

 The following people have completed their term with the committees named below, and leave with thanks:

  • Education Committee: Minaz Lalani; and
  • Committee on Continuing Education:
    • Property and Casualty Insurance Subcommittee: Ghislain Brault-Joubert.

Member Services Council

The following is the new mandate of the Research Executive Committee (REC) and its subcommittees (Experience Studies Subcommittee (ESRS) and Academic Research Subcommittee (ARS):


  • Develop and implement the CIA research strategic plan and priorities;
  • Determine, maintain, and ensure application of standards of excellence for CIA research;
  • Identify future leading-edge research ideas which support the CIA Board mandate and the broader research needs of the CIA;
  • Oversee the activities of the Experience Studies Research Subcommittee (ESRS) and Academic Research Subcommittee (ARS);
  • Allocate overall research budget;
  • Provide regular updates to the Member Services Council, obtain its approval where necessary;
  • In line with required approval process and authority, discuss and approve research projects which are brought by ESRS, ARS, or CIA members or other interested parties;
  • Ensure there is an appropriate project oversight group (POG) for every research project and ensure liaison members for each POG;
  • Ensure effective communication of research results;
  • Where applicable, work with CIA Head Office staff to promote the research to gain publicity for the CIA and raise public awareness;
  • Coordinate with the Society of Actuaries (SOA), Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), and other external organizations and obtain support for joint research where appropriate. For joint projects, ensure guidelines and agreements are met;
  • Have connection (liaison) with other CIA committees and councils as appropriate;
  • Gauge stakeholder interest about research topics;
  • Inform membership of planned and active research projects; and
  • Attract volunteers of varied practice areas and expertise.


  • Identify and discuss future experience study research ideas;
  • Recommend to REC frequency of recurring experience studies and allocation of annual budget for new and recurring experience studies;
  • Within delegated authority, discuss and approve research projects;
  • Ensure there is an appropriate POG for every experience study project with ESRS liaison members for each POG;
  • Provide regular updates to REC;
  • Regularly gauge stakeholder interest about experience study research topics;
  • Ensure effective communication of research results;
  • Collaborate across practice areas and ensure greater sharing of best practices related to experience studies;
  • Improve synergies and efficiencies (outsourcing vs. insourcing, preferred research vendors, consistency and access to data, consider different business models for CIA studies, etc.); and
  • Attract volunteers of varied practice areas and expertise who are more focused on experience studies.


  • Propose and develop initiatives that encourage synergies between academic/scientific and practice research;
  • Establish research partnerships among universities, CIA, and the industry;
  • Manage the academic research grant program for Canadian professors:
  • Coordinate the administration of the program with Head Office;
  • Review and rank letters of intent and full applications; 
  • Manage the Graduate Scholarship Program (GSP) for Canadian graduate students;
  • Coordinate the administration of the GSP program with Head Office;
  • Mandate a selection committee to review and rank applications;
  • Within delegated authority, discuss and approve research projects;
  • Provide regular updates to the REC;
  • Ensure there is an appropriate POG for every academic research grant project with ARS liaison members for each POG; and
  • Attract volunteers from universities and the industry who are interested in synergies between academic/scientific and practice research.

 Project Oversight Group (POG)

  • Oversee the development of solicitation documents, such as requests for proposal (RFPs);
  • From the responses to solicitation documents, recommend a researcher(s) to the responsible committee (REC, ESRS, ARS); once approval is obtained, the researcher(s) signs a contract with the CIA’s finance director;
  • Determine project milestones and work product with researcher to ensure they are met;
  • Attend and participate in periodic conference calls as necessary, usually around key project milestones;
  • Provide guidance on the methodology and approach of the researcher(s) and provide high-level oversight of the direction, key assumptions, and insights/conclusions of the research;
  • Oversee the execution of the project by the researcher, responding to inquiries and providing clarification, ensuring that the end product meets the CIA’s standards of quality;
  • Report periodically on the progress of the research project to REC/ESRS/ARS, and ensure that the allotted budget is respected, and approve payments based on progress;
  • Recommend approval of the end product once completed to the CIA’s standards of quality;
  • Provide recommendations for the communication and dissemination of the research report; and offer guidance in the interpretation of results of the project;
  • Determine if an independent peer review is needed, and should that be necessary, identify suitable candidates for peer review;
  • Work with the CIA editorial staff to ensure that all research papers are reviewed and published in accordance with the CIA Guidelines for Submitting Papers; and
  • When asked, present the findings at forums such as CIA meetings and seminars.
Head Office Update

By Michel Simard
Executive Director, CIA

There is something unique and special about the Institute, something I think we tend to overlook at times because we often refer to it by its acronym, as simply the CIA. In our brevity, we forget that this is the one organization that unites all actuaries—regardless of practice area—who practice here in Canada. The Canadian Institute of Actuaries is the one place where Canadian actuaries come together, with their individual expertise and experience, and collaborate for the betterment of the public interest and the profession.

While we maintain our focus on serving the public interest, I am keenly aware of ongoing efforts to improve and enhance the CIA’s governance, transparency, services, and communication with members. The CIA must continue to evolve and change to meet the needs of its members and continue to fulfil its mission and realize its vision.

As I look back on 2017, I see that once again it has been a busy year for the CIA—a year of change and progress as we moved forward on new and continuing projects. I would like to present just a few of them.


This year saw the approval of several ongoing CIA projects that improve the CIA’s education and qualification system and advance actuarial education in Canada:

  • Changes to the Practice Education Course (a.k.a PEC 2.0);
  • Updated CIA Education Syllabus; and
  • Updated International Actuarial Association (IAA) syllabus.

In May, the CIA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Society of Actuaries providing for future collaboration and cooperation on the education of actuarial candidates. This agreement builds upon and extends the CIA and the SOA relationship of many years. As part of this ongoing agreement, CIA representatives or liaisons will work with the SOA on education strategy and on the development of curricula and exams for components of the SOA education system that are recognized by the CIA. Among other things, the MOU also calls for the establishment of a co-branding strategy to recognize the partnership more formally.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CPD goes hand in hand with education. Throughout the year, the Institute’s numerous seminars, webcasts, and workshops provided excellent opportunities for members to earn their CPD credits. We piloted new formats for our seminars, including half-day local events, and a live-streaming option to make these events more accessible to members.


The CIA commits 9.5 percent of net dues revenue to its research budget. This year saw the completion of a restructuring of the former Research Committee into the Research Executive Committee (REC). The REC’s new structure is designed to help volunteers develop key partnerships to lead research relevant to the actuarial community and in support of general public issues, and to enhance the engagement of academics with related interests. In addition, the CIA hired Shlomit Jacobson as manager, research projects to facilitate the REC’s work.

This year the CIA published five research papers, and has over 18 projects currently underway, many of which will be published in early 2018.  

Member Engagement

As part of an initiative to improve member engagement and communication with members, the Institute conducted a series of focus groups to hear members’ concerns about the Institute and the actuarial profession, and ways to enhance member experience.

We also held two Live Mic events: the first in Toronto, the second in Montréal. Held in relaxed, casual, restaurant venues, both events gave attendees the opportunity to interact directly with CIA leadership (President and Board members) to ask questions, voice concerns, and network with other members. We hope to hold more of these events in the future.

Public Outreach

The CIA made 16 submissions to government and regulatory organizations on a wide variety of topics, including the following:

  • International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) revision of ICPs 1, 2, 13, and 18;
  • Government of Ontario review of the auto insurance system;
  • Retraite Québec on a draft regulation to amend the regulation respecting supplemental pension plans;
  • Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures; and
  • IAA on an exposure draft on risk adjustments for financial reporting of insurance contracts.

The Institute, working with marketing agency Banfield, also developed two national advertising campaigns: Actuaries Point the Way, regarding the role actuaries can play with big data, and The Shape of Things to Come, as part of Canada 150, showing how actuaries contributed and continue to contribute to Canada’s development.

On the Horizon

Looking towards 2018, I see more change for the Institute and Canadian actuaries. The publication of IFRS 17 has huge ramifications. The Actuarial Standards Board has been working to determine what changes to actuarial standards may be required as a result of IFRS 17. The Institute itself will work to provide French versions of the IFRS 17 documents, as well as webcasts and other opportunities for members to learn more about the impact of these accounting standards.

The ongoing review of CIA governance will continue, as the Board works towards implementing a new governance structure to help the Institute better fulfil its mandate, vision, and strategic plan.


The Institute is only as strong as its volunteers. We are incredibly grateful for the enormous amount of work our volunteers do to support the Institute and the future of the actuarial profession in Canada. A sincere thank you to those of you who have given of your time—your contribution is invaluable.

All the best for the holidays and a prosperous 2018!

Michel Simard is the CIA’s Executive Director.