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July 11, 2006

SOA Board partners with Pension Section to explore new retirement solutions and authorizes ACLI interim mortality table review

At its June 19-20 meeting the Society of Actuaries’ Board of Governors took action to respond to developments in the pension practice. The Board approved a partnership with the SOA Pension Section to explore new retirement solutions and initiated a broader exploration of how the Society should respond to changing opportunities for pension actuaries. The group also authorized a review of an ACLI interim mortality table proposal and advanced the discussion of diversity within the profession.

“Our Board believes the issue of change within the pension environment is both urgent and important,” said SOA President Bob Beuerlein, “and our approach recognizes the need for actuarially-sound, long-term solutions to retirement security as well as a member-centric plan to address the needs of a practice in transition.” He added that this issue was advanced to board level discussion by the SOA strategic management system.

Retirement 20/20 is a strategic project of the SOA’s Pension Section to envision a 21st century retirement system, consistent with the SOA market and market development plan’s goal of positioning the actuary as a 21st century thought leader. The initial focus is on research and building consensus on fundamental principles between key stakeholders.

The Board also commissioned a backgrounder (a comprehensive review that documents potential impacts on stakeholders, strategy, and capacity) on the Society’s response to changing opportunities for pension actuaries and began to define what needs to be explored in this study. The backgrounder will set the stage for an informed, fact-based dialogue, discussion, and decision-making around this issue. The Board is currently preparing a backgrounder on mandatory continuing education for discussion in October 2006 and the pension opportunities will be discussed in March 2007.

Responding to the progression toward principles based reserving (PBR) for the life insurance industry; the SOA board authorized a review of an ACLI interim mortality tables proposal. This review will be conducted by a joint SOA/American Academy of Actuaries task force composed of regulators, actuaries from direct writers, and reinsurance employers, with input from the Academic community. This review will not impact the timing of the ongoing SOA preferred mortality study, which is a key component of the PBR process and follows the plan set forth by the NAIC’s Life and Health Actuarial Task Force (LHATF).

Posted by Tom Troceen