CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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December 2018

Pension and Investment Seminar Recap

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By Maryanne Bright

On November 6, the CIA hosted its Pension and Investment Seminar—welcoming pension and investment professionals to Toronto for a one-day, session-focused exploration of current trends and challenges.

Led by industry experts, the interactive seminar featured five continuing professional development (CPD) sessions geared toward enhancing pension and investment knowledge, managing risk and market volatility, as well as identifying best practices in the management of consumer assets and liabilities.

Highlights from the day include the following:

  • Discussion and review of Québec and Ontario’s new pension funding rules, and the differences between them in the consideration of asset duration and derivatives. Key takeaways were that the reforms have an impact on investment decisions, creating opportunities to optimize asset mixes, and that stakeholders must balance long-term strategy and short-term funding rules, which may not always go hand in hand.
  • Overview of the impact of longevity from a pension accounting perspective. Speakers advised exercising judgment in determining a best estimate of the mortality improvement assumption, taking into account available data and research, specific demographic characteristics of plan membership, and plan experience.
  • Examination of the potential impact of climate change on consumers and how to accurately reflect this in actuarial assumptions and related disclosure of pension plans. An interesting reference was made to Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s 2015 statement that climate change is a tragedy of the horizon: “We don’t need an army of actuaries to tell us that the catastrophic impacts of climate change will be felt beyond the traditional horizons of most actors – imposing a cost on future generations that the current generation has no direct incentive to fix”.
  • An in-depth case study looking at the 2008 economic crisis, insightful takeaways, and strategies to mitigate future financial risk. CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal shared thought-provoking perspectives on the US economy, and concerns that while indicators show growth in GDP and employment, deficits are reaching unprecedented levels.

Cutting-Edge Perspectives

“All speakers brought forward cutting-edge and current perspectives, along with documented and researched content,” says Joseph Gabriel, CIA staff actuary, education, who attended the seminar. “Participants were exposed to high-quality sessions, and will benefit from the knowledge shared by industry experts.”

While primarily an opportunity to gain valuable professional development training, the interactive learning format also allowed attendees to exchange new ideas with peers.

Don’t miss out on the informative and skill-building seminars and workshops provided by the CIA.

Maryanne Bright is the CIA’s marketing content writer.


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