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Criteria of smoothness

The main purpose of this paper is to consider what is meant by ‘smooth’, or rather what has been achieved in the past by the process of producing tables which have been regarded as smooth. There is a risk, which must be mentioned early, of the arguments going round in circles. In answering the question ‘What is smooth?’ we look at what has been done to produce smoothness, we follow certain smoothing processes, we look at various orders of differences, and we come back to the original question.

Some experiments with pensions accrual

The purpose of the experiment is to investigate the relationship between the amount of pension that may be deemed to have ‘accrued’ each year, and the amount of contribution (as a percentage of salary) needed to purchase the extra pension that has accrued in each year. under both a final salary defined benefit scheme and a revalued average salary scheme.

Edmond Halley: astronomer and actuary

Edmond Halley, who was born in 1656 and died in 1742, is well known generally because of the Comet which bears his name. He is not, however, associated to any great extent with other activities and if it were not for the Comet it is likely that most people today would never even have heard of him. Outside the actuarial profession, and perhaps to some extent even within it, it is not generally known that in 1693 he constructed a life table from the bills of mortality in the German city of Breslau and then went on to calculate from that table annuity rates on one, two and three lives.


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