CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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October 2016

Interesting Changes within the MSC

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By Marie-Hélène Malenfant, FCIA

The Member Services Council (MSC) has been busy these past few months. Here are the MSC’s current priorities, some of which are related to and in support of the Board’s strategic plan.

Emerging Practices Committee

Last April, the MSC approved the motion to create an Emerging Practices Committee with Claude Ferguson, Board member, as leader. The committee’s mandate includes developing, deploying, and monitoring a marketing strategy to identify new actuarial practice areas, increasing CIA member participation in emerging practice areas, and enhancing the hiring of actuaries in these areas. So far, eight members have been recruited, with a kick-off meeting expected this fall. They have identified 12 key documents related to emerging practices. The committee will connect with the committees related to emerging practices (Enterprise Risk Management Applications Committee, Health Committee, Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, and Predictive Modelling). It will report to the MSC in December on its ongoing work with communication, education, and involvement of Associates.

Influencing Public Policy

One of the main goals of the strategic plan is to influence public policy. The Public Positions Committee (PPC) reviewed a number of topics for public statements. Mike Hale, Chair of the PPC, presented five potential topics to the Board; the Board approved them all for further exploration.


The Volunteer Management and Development Committee (VMDC) revised its mandate, which the MSC approved on September 13, 2016. It is also in the process of revising the Volunteer Management Policy. Under the leadership of the new Chair, Claire Bilodeau, council and committee chairs were consulted on two occasions. This effort produced an ambitious report featuring important recommendations for action.

This report was presented at the MSC meeting in June, and included very interesting recommendations.

The committee is also in discussions to implement a developmental role on most councils and committees. This project has not yet started, but should before the end of the year.


The Research Committee has recently approved phase one of a report on population aging and the 2005–2014 Critical Illness Insurance Morbidity Experience Study. It has also contracted six projects:

  • Impairment and insolvency (2016–2017);
  • Life mortality study (2014–2015);
  • Annuitant mortality study (2003–2015);
  • Consumption and bequests for Canadian retirees;
  • Two-dimensional mortality improvement scales; and
  • Markov Model for mortality.

The Research Committee has presented a proposal to restructure. It has identified the following reasons for change:

  • Sustainability of the committee (getting new volunteers, succession planning, diversity);
  • Heavy workloads for volunteers, especially for the chairs; and
  • Several major gaps identified in current structure.


The Head Office consulted with the MSC on a draft strategic communications and member engagement strategy in order to improve those areas. As well, the Strategy Regarding Membership Surveys policy is currently being revised. It will soon be approved and published on the website.

Other Business

At its last meeting, MSC members voted on an issue regarding the CIAnet, in light of concerns presented by some CIA members. They agreed to restrict the CIAnet subscription to students and academics, who may subscribe at no charge. Paid subscriptions will be discontinued going forward and existing paid subscriptions (27 in total) will not be renewed as they expire. Subsequent to the MSC decision, the CIA Board agreed that students should be given a two-year grace period on their subscription upon completing their university education, to allow them time to meet the qualification requirements for Associate enrolment. As well, the MSC agreed that CIA meeting materials should be restricted to CIA members and CIAnet subscribers, and any non-members who register to attend a particular CIA meeting or seminar.

During the summer, the MSC was asked to decide on the future of the discussion listservers, such as the General List, under the customer relationship management (CRM) system: whether to merge it into a discussion forum or keep it as is but with new technology. After a survey through the Member Listening Group (MLG), the MSC was comfortable to go with the latter approach. At its most recent meeting in September, the MSC created a working group to explore further improvements to the discussion listservers.

The MSC, as well as all the other Councils, will be busy in the next few months restructuring their business, reviewing mandates, and realigning committees. Stay tuned for more updates!

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


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