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Thought leadership: actuarial science research and knowledge hub

Current research activities

The IFoA places the advancement of actuarial science at the heart of its activities by commissioning and funding research that:

  • advances actuarial science as a subject
  • supports industry practitioners
  • helps inform evidence-based public policy development

Cutting edge Actuarial Research Centre (ARC) research projects have produced interesting outputs addressing some of the key challenges in actuarial science.

Find out more on:

Modelling measurement and management of longevity and morbidity risk

Using big health and actuarial data for understanding longevity and morbidity risks

Minimising longevity and investment risk while optimising future pension plans

Behavioural finance

Future research activity

Over the next few years the IFoA has identified two additional areas it would like to research:

Economic modelling

Actuarial practitioners have traditionally utilised conventional economic theory to identify the approach to adopt in economic and financial issues. The experience of the 2008 economic and financial crisis challenged conventional economic tools, with other schools of economic thought brought into sharp focus.  In the first instance, a survey of current practice amongst actuarial practitioners has been commissioned, with a view to undertaking a wider research project later.

More on economic modelling

Equity release mortgages

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and the Association of British Insurers (ABI), through the Actuarial Research Centre (ARC), has recently commissioned a research project on Equity Release Mortgages: No Negative Equity Guarantee. The call for tender closed on 7th September 2018. Read the call document

 More information on this jointly commissioned research project will be available shortly.

Periodical Payment Orders

Periodical Payment Orders (PPOs) are a significant feature of insurers' and reinsurers' balance sheets already. PPOs are having an impact on the UK insurance and reinsurance industry and on pricing and capital modelling efforts of GI actuaries. In the first instance, a feasibility study will be carried out which will: a) lead to the compilation of mortality tables for lives who have suffered the types of traumatic injury that give rise to PPO awards and b) Identify the most appropriate health database(s) that can be used to compile these tables, e.g. the THIN and/or CPRD GP data sets.

More information on  the PPOs project will be available shortly.

Further reading, videos and audio recordings:

IFoA Actuarial Knowledge Hub and electronic resources

Resources in the IFoA eLibrary are available to members and affiliates who login using their IFoA website credentials. Member users then join the IFoA Actuarial Knowledge Hub, an integrated search resource that can assist with study, research and Lifelong Learning. (The Actuarial Knowledge Hub is free for all to search, with a login at the top enabling IFoA members to access full text in search results.)

The Hub brings together several distinct sources of research in actuarial science in one search:

  • the online journals and ebooks available to IFoA members
  • the IFoA library catalogue and its 20,000 records of pronted books and resources and over 30,000 abstracts and references to journals worldwide, built up over many decades by library staff
  • the catalogue includes rare books and historic pamphlets collected by the Insitute and Faculty since their formation - a unique archive devoted to the origins and development of actuarial science
  • thousands of relevant references from research databases across the world

Find out more about the full range of library services, both online and on-site. 

To support Lifelong Learning, keep abreast of current actuarial work and its impact.

Increase your knowledge and awareness of current topics in these areas:

The IFoA's Actuarial Knowledge Hub, Library Catalogue and Subject Search offer prepared searches to find recent publications across the practice areas.

Keep up to date in scholarly research by reading the IFoA's journals:

Recent event:

Actuarial Research Centre -  2018 Webinar Series    

Following the successful launch of the 2017 ARC webinar series, the IFoA ran a further successful series in 2018 to once again showcase its most cutting edge research programmes addressing some significant challenges in actuarial science. Details of the 2018 webinars are available on the ARC webinar page.  Recordings are available to view now on the IFoA’s on line resources web page for members and the ARC's YouTube channel for non-members.

Want to stay up to date with the latest in ARC and IFoA research? View our ARC webpages, and sign up for our quarterly newsletter by e-mailing research@actuaries.org.uk.

Lifelong Learning and Continuing Professional Development

When this learning is relevant to your work or role and addresses a personal development area, this can also be used to meet your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.

Review the CPD Scheme requirements

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E.g., 23/11/2020
End date
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Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    The webinar will discuss the challenges and opportunities schemes face in evaluating end game options, choosing a target state and understanding the impact this strategic decision could have on member outcomes long after the “end state” is reached. Adolfo, Kevin and Rhian bring over 60 years of experience in the industry and a variety of perspectives as scheme actuary, covenant adviser, trustee, de-risking adviser and insurer.

  • Spaces available

    Retail banking is going through a period of substantial change as it moves into the digital age. Banks have large amounts of data about their customers and about their risks. Open data application programming interface (APIs) and data science are enabling banks to use their data to offer innovative and sometimes personalised services. Data science is also adding value in risk areas such as fraud detection and cyber security. At the same time, the move to online banking is making it easier for firms including fintechs to enter banking without having to establish branch networks.

  • UK Town Hall 08:30-09:30

    Webinar
    4 December 2020

    Spaces available

    IFoA President Tan Suee Chieh would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual UK Town Hall 2020, hosted by Tan Suee Chieh with IFoA’s Immediate Past President, John Taylor, President Elect, Louise Pryor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.  

  • UK Town Hall 10:00-11:00

    Webinar
    4 December 2020

    Spaces available

    IFoA President Tan Suee Chieh would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual UK Town Hall 2020, hosted by Tan Suee Chieh with IFoA’s Immediate Past President, John Taylor, President Elect, Louise Pryor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.  

  • Spaces available

    Cash-flow driven investing is a game-changer for DB pension funds navigating their end-game. Suitable for sponsors who want to reduce risks on their balance sheets. And for trustees, it shifts the focus to providing greater certainty of returns, managing funding level volatility and ensuring they have enough income to pay cash-flow requirements.

  • Spaces available

    Patrick Kennedy, Partner at Gateley Legal and Founding Director of Entrust (a leading professional pensions trustee company), will be delivering an update on the latest legal developments during the course of 2020. With both a pensions legal perspective and over 25 years of trustee service, Patrick will seek to highlight how the letter of the law has continued to evolve against the backdrop of a difficult and challenging year

  • Spaces available

    The talk will provide an understanding of the priorities and relationships between deficit reduction contributions, in the context of wider scheme funding, and different types of value outflow from the employer based on the working party’s recently published report. 

  • Spaces available

    Running off the £2 trillion of UK corporate sector defined benefit liabilities in an efficient and effective fashion is the biggest challenge facing the UK pensions industry. Trustees and sponsors overseeing those schemes need to be clear on their target end-state and the associated journey plan – but too few have well articulated and robust plans.

  • Spaces available

    The actuarial skill set has much to offer the banking industry. So many of the skills that actuaries acquire during their working life translate across to the world of banking and yet banking is perceived as an alien environment to many actuaries. But is it?

  • Spaces available

    Covid-19 has required an urgent and cross-practice initiative to facilitate the extensive impact this pandemic has across all industries. IFoA members have been keen to contribute in a different way, so we developed the IFoA Covid-19 Action Taskforce [ICAT] to coordinate our effort, with a more efficient governance.

    We have over 500 volunteers and countless topics which we have amalgamated into 93 workstreams.