In this paper I discuss a simple application of option pricing theory to bonuses on with-profits life assurance policies. The approach is a new one and I have been able to make only an introductory exploration of its possible applications. Nevertheless it seems to me to give actuaries some sort of a handle for gripping the rather intractable problem of the relationship between reversionary bonus, terminal bonus and the proceeds of comparable unit-linked policies.
In the course of the discussion of the paper by Praetz at the International Congress of Actuaries in Sydney, reference was made to the existence of the ongoing Expense Investigation conducted amongst life offices in the United Kingdom. Considerable interest was aroused and it was subsequently suggested that a paper describing this investigation be presented to the actuarial bodies in order that data on life office costs might be made available to the profession and its significance discussed.