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Career breaks

Career breaks can be a wonderful opportunity, however, planning for them can also be a daunting experience – especially in a field where the sharpness of your practice is so crucial, where change is a constant and where competition is intensifying.

Career breaks take many forms: sabbaticals for study or travel, parental leave, illness, care roles, or unemployment, perhaps following redundancy.

Here is how actuaries can make their IFoA membership work for them in these situations:

Personal details

Please ensure that you keep your contact details up to date during your absence so that you do not miss any important communications from us.

Reduced subscription fees

If your income during the subscription year falls below the threshold for your membership status, you can apply for reduced rate IFoA membership subscription.

Reduced CPD requirements

If you have been, or anticipate being out of work for a period of time, you may be eligible to apply for Non-Practising status and be exempted from the requirements of the CPD Scheme. More information on Non-Practising status can be found here.

Retaining your Practising Certificate

As a certificate holder, if you have been, or anticipate being out of work for a few months, you will need to demonstrate at least three months relevant technical experience in the 18 months to your application date. This could be before or after (or both) the career break (providing the period(s) fall within 18 months of the application date). When facing a career break, it is important to work with your employer to plan a programme of reserved-type work to support renewal of your certificate. Please contact practising.certs@actuaries.org.uk for guidance.

Keeping up to date

While you are away from paid work, you should ensure that you keep up to date with the profession. IFoA membership offers many ways to do this: events, The Actuary, and our journals and research publications.

Networking

IFoA membership opens up many networking opportunities. You can build your network and enhance your lifelong learning through engagement in volunteer roles and with our professional communities. Your perspective will be valued – so get involved!

“In 2012 after a career break to bring up my young daughter, I was ready to go back to work. The best advice I was given was from a senior actuary who suggested I join an IFoA working party and make new, valuable contacts that way. I had to build up my network and do something to raise my profile. I needed to engage with the profession.”

Carole Ryden FIA

IFoA Buddy System

Through the IFoA Buddy System you can get in touch with other members for independent peer support.

Actuarial Mentoring Programme

The IFoA support the Actuarial Mentoring Programme (AMP). On your return to work, this scheme might be able to help you. Designed initially to help retain female actuaries within the profession, the programme is now also open to male actuaries experiencing a career transition.

For those who have been out of work for a while, many of the larger employers of actuaries offer Reconnection programmes. Here are a few of them:

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