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Sessional Research Programme 2015/2016

  • Information for actuaries valuing periodical payment orders. 27 June 2016

    Sessional Research Meeting, 27 June 2016, at Staple Inn Hall, London. Paper by the Periodical Payment Orders Working Party

    Abstract:
    Periodical Payment Orders (PPOs) have challenged actuarial professionals as they rose to prominence as a new means of settling third-party liability claims, consisting of regular payments in the future, usually for a claimant’s lifetime.

    This paper explores how this new settlement method has brought about new risks to consider for actuarial professionals working in Motor and Casualty insurance, or any other line where a claim for future periodical payments may arise. Life contingencies have entered the space of general insurance in a new way. In addition, actuarial professionals have investment risk to consider, and for PPOs the inflation risk is unusual, significant and not currently fully hedgeable.

    The paper highlights methods that could be considered for setting important assumptions, including mortality, indexation, investment return and PPO settlement propensity.

    For reserving actuaries, the paper explains that the nature of the liabilities does not lend itself to triangulation. Cash flow techniques are needed and actual versus expected results can be analysed for discount-rate unwinding and mortality profit for example. Scenario testing will be important to understand the sensitivity of the results and to explain them to senior management.

    Stochastic modelling is considered in the Capital Modelling section, amongst other significant considerations for actuarial practitioners working with PPOs in this field.

    Pricing is also affected, as PPOs are a proportion of large loss loadings.

    The paper also touches briefly on reporting requirements. This is to help provide some basic background for actuaries interacting with those undertaking financial reporting.

    Keywords:
    PPO, Periodical Payment Order, variation order, valuation, reserving, pricing, capital modelling, risk, mortality, propensity, inflation, indexation, investment return, discounting, cash flow, scenario testing, stochastic modelling, IFRS, Solvency II, reinsurance, reporting.

     

  • Simulation Based Capital Models: Testing, justifying and communicating choices. 27 June 2016

    Sessional Research Meeting, 27 June 2016, at the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh

    Abstract:
    The development of an economic capital model requires a decision to be made regarding how to aggregate capital requirements for the individual risk factors while taking into account the effects of diversification. Under the Individual Capital Adequacy Standards (ICAS) framework, UK life insurers have commonly adopted a correlation matrix approach due to its simplicity and ease in communication to the stakeholders involved, adjusting the result, where appropriate, to allow for non-linear interactions. The regulatory requirements of Solvency II have been one of the principal drivers leading to an increased use of more sophisticated aggregation techniques in economic capital models. This paper focuses on a simulation based approach to the aggregation of capital requirements using copulas and proxy models. It describes the practical challenges in parameterising a copula including how allowance may be made for tail dependence. It also covers the challenges associated with fitting and validating a proxy model. In particular, the paper outlines how insurers could test, communicate and justify the choices made through the use of some examples.

    Keywords:
    Copula; Tail Dependence; Proxy Model; Validation; Communication

  • Spring Lecture 2016. Communicating risk and uncertainty, by David Spiegelhalter.  22 June 2016

    Thought Leadership Lecture given on 22 June 2016, in London.

  • Resource and Environment Sessional Debate. 20 June 2016

    Sessional Research Meeting, 20 June 2016, at Staple Inn Hall, London

  • Designing successful post retirement solutions. 23 May 2016

    Sessional Research Meeting, 23 May 2016, Edinburgh. Paper presented by Lesley-Ann Morgan and Scott Lothian

  • Incentives facing UK listed companies to adopt risk reporting requirements. 16 May 2016

    Sessional Research Meeting, 16 May 2016, London

    Abstract:
    Recent changes made to the UK Corporate Governance Code require UK firms to report new or enhanced narrative information concerning their principal risks, their risk management processes and their future viability. This paper analyses whether the level and nature of voluntary compliance with these new requirements is consistent with alternative economic and political visibility incentives. We analyse relevant sections of financial reports produced by industry matched samples of large-, mid- and small-cap UK listed firms during the transitional 2013-14 financial reporting years. Both specific and generic readability attributes of the reports are measured. We find that virtually no firm in our sample has provided any viability statement. Empirical analysis of disclosures concerning principal risk assessment and review processes appear to be primarily motivated by political visibility reasons. Examples of particularly good and cases of poor corporate risk reporting practices are also discussed. Possible implications for the actuarial profession are discussed.

  • The future of social care funding - Who pays? 18 April 2016

    Sessional Research Meeting, 18 April 2016, London. Paper by the Products Research Group of the Pensions and Long Term Care Working Party.

    Abstract:
    With the UK population ageing, deciding upon a satisfactory and sustainable system for the funding of people’s long term care (LTC) needs has long been a topic of political debate. Phase 1 of the Care Act 2014 (‘the Act’) brought in some of the reforms recommended by the Dilnot Commission in 2011. However, the Government announced during 2015 that Phase 2 of ‘the Act’ such as the introduction of a £72,000 cap on Local Authority care costs and a change in the means testing thresholds1 would be deferred until 2020. In addition to this delay, the ‘freedom and choice’ agenda for pensions has come into force. It is therefore timely that the potential market responses to help people pay for their care within the new pensions environment should be considered.

    In this paper, we analyse whether the proposed reforms meet the policy intention of protecting people from catastrophic care costs, whilst facilitating individual understanding of their potential care funding requirements. In particular, we review a number of financial products and ascertain the extent to which such products might help individuals to fund the LTC costs for which they would be responsible for meeting. We also produce case studies to demonstrate the complexities of the care funding system. Finally, we review the potential impact on incentives for individuals to save for care costs under the proposed new means testing thresholds and compare these with the current thresholds.

    We conclude that:

     

    • Although it is still too early to understand exactly how individuals will respond to the pensions freedom and choice agenda, there are a number of financial products that might complement the new flexibilities and help people make provision for care costs
    • The new care funding system is complex making it difficult for people to understand their potential care costs
    • The current means testing system causes a disincentive to save. The new means testing thresholds provide a greater level of reward for savers than the existing thresholds and therefore may increase the level of saving for care; however, the new thresholds could still act as a barrier since disincentives still exist.
  • Good practice guide to setting inputs for operational risk models. 21 March 2016

    Sessional Research Meeting, 21 March 2016.

    Abstract:
    This paper seeks to establish good practice in setting in inputs for operational risk models for banks, insurers and other financial services firms. It reviews Basel, Solvency II and other regulatory requirements as well as publicly available literature on operational risk modelling. It recommends a combination of historic loss data and scenario analysis for modelling of individual risks, setting out issues with these data and outlining good practice for loss data collection and scenario analysis. It recommends the use of expert judgement for setting correlations, and addresses information requirements for risk mitigation allowances and capital allocation, before briefly covering Bayesian Network methods for modelling operational risks.

    Keywords:
    Internal loss data, External loss data, Scenario analysis, Business environment and internal control factors (BEICFs), Correlations.

  • Mis-estimation risk: measurement and impact. 29 February 2016

    Sessional Research Meeting, 29 February 2016, Edinburgh. Paper presented by Stephen Richards of Longevitas

    Abstract:
    When deriving a demographic basis from experience data it is useful to know (i) what uncertainty surrounds that basis, and (ii) the financial impact of that uncertainty. Under the Solvency II regime in the European Union, insurers must hold capital against a number of risks. One of these is mis-estimation risk, i.e. the uncertainty over the current rates of mortality and other biometric risks experienced by a portfolio. We propose a general method for assessing mis-estimation risk, and by way of illustration we look at how mis-estimation risk can be assessed for a portfolio of pensions in payment from a U.K. pension scheme. We find that the impact of mis-estimation risk varies according to the risk factors included in a model, and that the inclusion of some necessary risk factors increases the financial impact of mis-estimation risk. In particular, the inclusion of risk factors which improve the model's fit and financial applicability can lead to an increase in the mis-estimation risk. We also find that a full portfolio valuation is preferable to using model points when assessing mis-estimation risk.

    Keyword:
    Mis-estimation risk, parameter risk, Solvency II, mortality risk, longevity risk, survival model, annuities.

  • Bias, guess and expert judgement in actuarial work. 18 January 2016

    Sessional Research Meeting, 18 January 2016. Paper by the Getting Better Judgement Working Party

    Abstract:
    Expert judgement is frequently used within general insurance. It tends to be a method of last resort and used where data is sparse, non-existent or non-applicable to the problem under consideration. Whilst such judgements can significantly influence the end results, their quality is highly variable. The use of the term 'expert judgement' itself can lend a generous impression of credibility to what may be a little more than a guess. Despite the increased emphasis placed on the importance of robust expert judgements in regulation, actuarial research to date has focused on the more technical or data driven methods, with less emphasis on how to use and incorporate softer information or how best to elicit judgements from others in a way that reduces cognitive biases. This paper highlights the research that the Getting Better Judgement Working Party has conducted into this area. Specifically it covers the variable quality of expert judgement, both within and outside the regulatory context, and presents methods that may be applied to improve its formation. The aim of this paper is to arm the insurance practitioner with tools to distinguish between low quality and high quality judgements and improve the robustness of judgements accordingly, particularly for highly material circumstances.

    Keywords:
    Expert judgement; Elicitation; Cognitive biases; Heuristics; Bayesian statistics

  • Actuarial Function Working Party. 16 November 2015

    Sessional Research Meeting, 16 November 2015, Staple Inn Hall, London. Working Party paper presented by Jahan Anzsar and Matthew Byrne

     

    Abstract:
    The Solvency II Directive introduces the idea of a formal Actuarial Function to have responsibility over delivering the requirements of Article 48 of the Directive. Article 48 describes the responsibilities as being concerned with technical provisions, an opinion on reinsurance adequacy, an opinion on underwriting policy and contributing to the risk management system. Considerable documentation has been produced by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) on the subject, much of it very recent to the publication of this paper. The purpose of this paper is to provide the reader with some practical insights and suggestions around addressing the requirements of Article 48 of the Solvency II Directive in General Insurance firms, taking into consideration the publications of the aforementioned regulatory authorities. It is not our intention to give advice, nor to be seen to give advice, but rather to make suggestions and observations that we hope the reader will find useful.

    The Regulations lay down the tasks of the Actuarial Function, so Insurers should consider the need for formal terms of reference, backed up by proportionate governance procedures. The Regulations also require the production of an Actuarial Function Report to document the tasks undertaken by the Actuarial Function and its results. Such a report can be an aggregate report, made up of individual component reports completed at suitable points in the Actuarial Function’s work cycle, so long as it reports on all the required tasks. The technical provisions section should cover at least all the areas laid down in the Delegated Acts. The opinions required covering reinsurance adequacy and underwriting policy are not formal “sign-offs”, but contributions to the effective running of the Insurer by applying the skills and knowledge of actuaries to areas for which they are not normally responsible. Again, the Delegated Acts mandate the minimum contribution the Actuarial Function should make.

    The responsibility for delivering the work of the Actuarial Function does not have to be given to a member of the IFoA, however the PRA is going to require (at least) one person to be designated the “Chief Actuary”, defined as the person responsible for delivering the requirements of Article 48 of the Directive. In response, the IFoA has stated its intention to require its members holding the role of Chief Actuary, as defined by the PRA, to hold a practicing certificate.

    Any Actuarial Function will need to consider issues of governance, independence and conflicts of interests. The PRA intends to require the Actuarial Function to be independent of an insurer’s revenue-generating functions. In addition, normal good governance requires a degree of separation between those who perform Actuarial Function work and those who review and supervise it. There are numerous stakeholders in the Actuarial Function’s work. Some of these will rely on the output of the Actuarial Function, other will provide inputs to its work. Setting out stakeholder responsibilities clearly and in advance will be of vital importance. Good communication and coordination between these groups will be important to the efficient running of the Insurer. Bringing together issues of governance, independence and meeting the Directive and regulators’ requirements will require a suitable organisational structure which will also need to consider practical issues, such as the availability of suitable staff. Many such arrangements may be possible, but all will require trading off advantages and disadvantages.

    The Actuarial Function is primarily about good practice and getting the most out of the actuarial skills available. For many Insurers, meeting the requirements should not be unduly burdensome.

    Keywords:
    Solvency II; General insurance; Actuarial function; Regulation.

  • Autumn Lecture 2015. Exploring the role of banking and business in society. Lady Susan Rice.  9 November 2015

    Thought Leadership Lecture given on 9 November 2015, in Edinburgh

Contact Details

If you have any questions or wish to discuss any aspect of our funding for member-led research please contact the Research and Knowledge Team:

arc@actuaries.org.uk

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Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    In the webinar, Stuart Hitchcock, Head of Portfolio Management for Private Credit, within LGIM Real Assets, will provide some insight into the nature of the private credit markets. Discussion will evolve around development of the markets and lending landscape, key investment characteristics including structural and legal protections, public vs private investments, advantages and drawbacks for borrowers, and attractiveness for investors.

    The webinar will also focus on describing the investment process such as origination through execution, credit, structure, pricing, on-going asset management, portfolio construction within private markets.

  • Spaces available

    Due to the COVID-19, we will be running this programme via a series of webinars commencing 22 April.  

    CIGI is a well-established seminar designed to increase awareness and encourage discussion on a variety of topical issues across the general insurance industry. 

  • Spaces available

    InsurTech headlines are often big statements, which seem impossible to many working in the sector day-to-day. How can actuaries implement new systems, keep the value from legacy systems, deliver BAU and not require the resources of three teams?

  • Spaces available

    Pressure on organisations to address climate change risks is intensifying. But what does this really mean for insurers? In this session Adhiraj Maitra and Gareth Sutcliffe will look at the why, the what and the how of this risk through a number of different lenses including regulatory, principle and resilience.

  • Spaces available

    Scientists, data analysts and actuaries can struggle to influence decision-making where strongly held political beliefs or membership of an identity group is threatened by their findings. Examples include: climate change, the disposal of nuclear waste and gun control.

    To fulfil their roles, actuaries need to be heard when the objective interpretation of data contradicts commonly held beliefs, such as business planning assumptions, the expected development of claims, and the assessment of underwriting or reserving risk in a capital model.

  • Spaces available

    There have been a number of events across the financial markets where particular services have fallen below customer expectations.  These have included inability to receive or make payments or or the inability to check your own status or access services.  In an increasingly interconnected world the causes of this are often complex and hard to spot in advance, but can be a major impact to the reputations of firms.

  • CIGI Webinar - Are you Vulnerable ?

    Webinar
    27 April 2020

    Spaces available

    With ever increasing focus from the FCA on pricing practices and the relationship between insurers and their customers, it is critical to ensure appropriate controls are in place. This presentation summarises the latest developments in the market and showcases practical approaches to mitigate the risk of poor customer outcomes in pricing, with a particular focus on protecting vulnerable customers.’

    There is minimum technical content, as it summarises the latest UK regulatory changes and uses dashboards to highlight monitoring techniques.

  • Spaces available

    This webinar provides an update on renewal pricing outcomes for Property and Casualty markets at the latest 1/1 reinsurance renewals with the focus being on capacity availability and price drivers.  These issues include, but are not limited to, the cat bond market, wider trends in claims outcomes, trends in Casualty RI space that affect pricing such as social inflation, yield curve, and the reserving cycle.

  • Spaces available

    The Ogden Discount Rate shock of 2017 brought about a period of profound uncertainty to General Insurance market.  GI Actuaries' first task was to estimate the impact of the Ogden shocks, particularly to reserving and reinsurance pricing.  Their second was to navigate a period of framework uncertainty, maintaining an agility in actuarial modelling as the Civil Liability Bill took shape. 

  • Professional Skills Training - Edinburgh (29 April 2020)

    IFoA (Edinburgh), Level 2, Exchange Crescent 7 Conference Square Edinburgh EH3 8RA
    29 April 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Professional Skills Training - London (29 April 2020)

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ         
    29 April 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Spaces available

    Model validation should not be a tick box exercise. It has all the right ingredients to be a value adding exercise that can help senior management understand what really drives the business from a risk and capital perspective. Model validation can be a stressful, bloated process - and may not be as value adding as it could be.

     The speakers will present their perspectives of formulating an optimal process by means of example case studies. The timing of CIGI is well aligned to enable attendees to put processes in place to support the vision.

  • Spaces available

    The FCA’s interim report into general insurance pricing practices has brought into focus a number of market wide issues including:

    Price walking • Poor governance • Higher prices for potentially vulnerable customers • Higher prices for less aware customers

  • CANCELLED The Global Actuarial Profession

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    30 April 2020

    Spaces available

    We are sorry that this event has been cancelled.

    The IFoA's policy regarding COVID-19 is designed to safeguard the well-being of members and employees. As stated within the policy, the IFoA is reviewing its events programme on a case-by-case basis.

  • Spaces available

    The IFRS 17 Working Party have been producing a number of deep dive papers, these include topics such as risk adjustment, impact of disclosures on how uncertainty is perceived, deferring acquisition costs over renewals, PAA eligibility and more. 

  • SIAS Event: Cyber Insurance

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    4 May 2020

    Spaces available

    The talk will cover:
    • Why cyber security is regarded as the top threat to businesses (Allianz Risk Barometer 2019)
    • What is causing the shift in threat landscape
    • Who is attacking, why, and how we can stop them
    • Customer impressions of cyber security and how you can help them
    • Threats to evaluating insurable losses and responding to claims
    • How cyber insurance policies have evolved, and need to continue to do so
    • Can and should you recover ransoms under cyber insurance?
    • What is the future for cyber risk?

  • KSS event: Technology: A red-eyed Terminator or an actuary’s best friend?

     Hymans Robertson, Exchange Place 1, 1 Semple Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8BL
    4 May 2020

    Spaces available

    Despite long-running concerns that innovation could lead to widespread redundancy, technology has enabled greater productivity, created higher-value jobs and spurred us on to new heights. With artificial intelligence increasingly automating work undertaken by professionals, I look at the prospects for the actuarial profession in the era of unprecedented technological innovation.

  • Finance and Investment Conference 2020

    Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Pl, London NW1 4LE
    05-05 May 2020
    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19, we are running this programme via a series of webinars commencing 5 May.

    The environmental, social and governance (ESG) space is growing rapidly and increasingly moving centre stage. In many cases, it is now an essential part of policy and central to the way stakeholders make decisions for the long term to ensure retention of clients, manage risk better, and ensure more economically efficient and sustainable investment returns.

    ESG factors cover a wide range of areas reflecting how vital consideration of these factors are part of wider systemic risks.

    The IFoA’s policy regarding Coronavirus is designed to safeguard the well being of those who attend IFoA events. Find out more. 

  • Professional Skills Training - Edinburgh (19 May 2020)

    IFoA (Edinburgh), Level 2, Exchange Crescent 7 Conference Square Edinburgh EH3 8RA
    19 May 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Professional Skills Training - London (19 May 2020)

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ         
    19 May 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • CILA 2020

    Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Pl, London NW1 4LE
    20 May 2020

    Spaces available

    CILA is aimed at practicing life actuaries from life offices, consulting firms and other employers of actuaries. It will also be of interest to all those who work in, or advise on, the life assurance market in the UK and Europe. The programme this year features a timely mix of hot topics including sessions on:

  • Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020

    The Grand Brighton, 97-99 Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2FW
    02-03 June 2020
    Spaces available

    The Protection, Health and Care Conference is an annual conference aimed at all insurance professionals with a passion for harnessing insurance risk in their organisations.

  • Spaces available

    How we relate to others at work, whether they are colleagues, clients, prospective clients or other business contacts is key to individual career progression and business performance. People buy people , so considering what we are known for and how to be positively memorable are vital. This session looks at the importance of professional relationships, the psychology of personal image and impact and the three personal impact 'tools' which affect what people say about us when we're not in the room.

  • Mortality and Longevity 2020

    1 Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London SW1H 9JJ
    08-08 June 2020
    Spaces available

    This highly regarded seminar will provide topical and practical updates and discussion on the latest thinking and innovations in mortality and longevity.  The program is designed for life, pensions and health and care actuaries, academics, researchers, underwriters and related practitioners eager to learn about the latest developments in mortality and longevity.  The sessions are designed to be very accessible to a broad range of exp

  • Professional Skills Training - London (10 June 2020)

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ       
    10 June 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Professional Skills Training - Edinburgh (17 June 2020)

    IFoA (Edinburgh), Level 2, Exchange Crescent 7 Conference Square Edinburgh EH3 8RA
    17 June 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Professional Skills Training - London (18 June 2020)

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ   
    18 June 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Pensions Conference 2020

    Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel, Blackfriars Street, Manchester,M3 2EQ
    18-19 June 2020
    Spaces available

    Join us as this year’s conference that will focus on topics including  funding and savings, pension law current issues, ESG, the end game and transferring risk, investment issues, data visualisation and data science.

  • IFoA Asia Conference 2020, Kuala Lumpur

    CCEC Nexus, 7, Jalan Kerinchi, Bangsar South, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    24-25 June 2020
    Spaces available

    This event has been postponed. A new date will be announced.

    The IFoA's policy regarding COVID-19 is designed to safeguard the well-being of members and employees. As stated within the policy, the IFoA is reviewing its events programme on a case-by-case basis.

    To this end the IFoA and their strategic partner, the AIR, have taken the decision to postpone this year's Asia Conference. A new date will be announced pending further reviews over the following months.