Transcript from the May Video Update

By Rob Stapleford, FCIA
CIA President

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

Hello everyone.

I am Rob Stapleford, President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

The CIA Board has many important issues currently on its plate and there are a lot of projects that are in the final stages of completion ahead of our next Board meeting at the June Annual Meeting.

Bylaw Changes

I want to provide a further update on the proposed bylaw changes related to continuing professional development (CPD) and reporting criminal convictions. On CPD, the Board was impressed with the thoughtful comments provided by many members on the potential use of a non-practising designation. The Board gave these comments careful consideration and decided not to proceed with the proposed bylaw changes.

The CIA still faces an issue with respect to CPD and the significant use of exemptions. Our public expects and has a right to expect that the members of the CIA will actively take steps to remain current in their areas of practice. Our approach to reporting and monitoring CPD compliance needs to be modified and this need has not changed. The Board decided to form a task force that will work with the Eligibility and Education Council and Eligibility Committee to improve our CPD monitoring. Feedback from members seemed to support an approach that provides simpler reporting, greater clarity on what constitutes acceptable CPD, and more focus on limiting exemptions. That is what we will do. Stay tuned!

At its March meeting, the Board decided to proceed with the requirement to disclose criminal convictions. As a result of the thoughtful member feedback, a longer transition period will be provided. The Board's thinking is that Rule of Professional Conduct #11 already requires members who have a criminal conviction to be subject to the Institute's disciplinary process. This proposed change adds a disclosure requirement to complete the intention of Rule 11 and will require the Institute to clarify how it will address convictions of members and those wishing to join the CIA. The Board held a special call on April 26 to discuss the proposed bylaw changes. Additional changes were requested and the final proposed bylaws will be approved shortly. Explanatory material will be released to members in late May. A webcast will be held in English and French over lunchtime on May 30 to respond to member inquiries. A vote of the members will take place at the CIA's Annual Meeting in St. John’s on June 28 at the General Business Session. Proxy voting will be organized to allow members not attending the Annual Meeting to vote.

Strategic Plan Review – Engagement in Public Policy

One significant Board activity is the review and updating of the Institute’s strategic plan. Each of the four key initiatives that are being added to the plan has Board members, volunteers, and CIA Head Office staff working hard to reach the milestones in time.

One of these key initiatives is increasing the CIA’s engagement in public policy, one that the Board has been fully behind for over a year. The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Public Policy chaired by Jacques Tremblay is looking into this initiative, working on processes for the CIA to get in front of some big topics, how to generate appropriate research, and take an evidence-based proactive stance, all with built-in member outreach. The task force is trying to balance taking bolder positions in the public policy space while making sure that members have ample opportunity to express their thoughts during public position development, and looking for ways to develop appropriate initiatives that would support the vision, mission, and values of the CIA, in the public interest. There are diverse opinions about the CIA’s involvement in public policy, and the members of the task force represent the broad spectrum of those opinions. Stay tuned for more news following the Annual Meeting.

Public Position on Expansion of Public Pension Plans

In this quick update I also want to let you know that the Pension Advisory Committee (PAC), chaired by Michel St-Germain, has developed a public position which focuses on the expansion of public pension plans. It is a natural and timely follow-up to November’s public position, A Call to Timely Action: Meeting the Needs of Canada’s Future Retirees. That document laid out six conditions which must be met for the CIA to support an expansion of public pension plans. The new public position is the culmination of several months of work by the PAC and has been reviewed by the Public Positions Committee under Mike Hale. It is undergoing some last-minute tweaking before going through the final approval process.

One interesting aspect of the work on this position is the plan to distribute it to all finance ministers, deputy finance ministers, ministers responsible for pensions, particular members of the media, and government officials responsible for pensions, a month before the finance ministers meet in June to discuss the expansion of public pension plans. The document was written to deliver actuaries’ ideas on this subject which will inform the ministers’ discussions before and at their meeting.

That’s all for the moment. We’ll have more interesting news for you in a month!

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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires