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The Great Risk Transfer

The Great Risk Transfer

The Great Risk Transfer is underway

In the 21st century, financial risks such as pension management that used to be shouldered by governments, financial services providers and employers are being transferred to individuals.

This change is giving many people the freedom to manage their own finances as they see fit. But making these choices and managing these risks can often be extremely complex. Evidence of this shift exists in a number of areas of public policy and actuarial work and amounts to a profound change in the way that individuals organise their life and finances. Meanwhile, levels of numeracy, financial literacy and understanding of risk are low, meaning large parts of the population are not well equipped to deal with the risks they now face.

This transfer of risk poses important questions about the changing priorities and responsibilities of the institutions that once managed those risks. In financial services, it means greater thought about how to ensure consumers are equipped to make decisions that are in their best interest.

Throughout 2020 the IFoA will explore this theme in detail, collect evidence about how the trend is manifesting in practice and explore solutions that could help people become better equipped to manage risk. We will explore examples from across different policy issues and financial products, including pensions, general insurance, investment and social care.

 

To address these related concerns, the IFoA proposes that three elements of the financial services sector need to be strengthened:

Consumers need a minimum level of knowledge to make informed decisions that are in their best interests.

Institutions should retain the responsibility for providing consumers with communications that empower them to make these informed decisions.

There must be mechanisms in place that enable individuals to hold institutions to account, such as sanctions and redress, as well as a need for oversight bodies that have the expertise to act as guardians and create societal accountability.

Consumers’ freedom to choose must be coupled with access to products and services that meet their needs.

John Taylor

President of the IFoA 

 

Download our leaflet to find out more

 


A call for evidence

Actuaries are on the cutting edge of this transformation; so we’re asking our members to tell us about how they’re seeing this transfer play out in their work; and where they see the opportunities and dangers in the years to come.

The IFoA is calling for members and non-members to provide us with examples of how they have encountered risk transfer in their work and their professional lives and contribute their views to this important thought leadership initiative. 

We're calling for evidence in five major areas:

  1. Where and how do you see risks being transferred from institutions to individuals in the area(s) you work in, or in wider industry and society? Are these transfers working in or against consumers’ best interests?
  2. What do you think are the main drivers of this phenomenon?
  3. Which consumer groups are benefitting and which are being negatively affected by this risk transfer and how?
  4. Are there any examples of regulatory or policy interventions which are either supporting consumers to maximise the opportunities afforded by choice, or helping to tackle the potential adverse impacts?
  5. What are the current barriers to interventions in this area and how might they be overcome?

Contribute your perspective

Throughout 2020 we'll be running a series of events and policy-focused initiatives to explore this rapidly evolving area.

The call for evidence was launched at a breakfast briefing on 31 January 2020. At the event attendees heard from the Australian researcher Myra Hamilton, whose work engages with the Great Risk Transfer, not only from a financial services point of view but more broadly in terms of changes to our politics and society over recent decades.

 

 


Further reading

Case study - Risk Individualisation in UK Life Insurance - by Arjen van der Heide

Dr Arjen van der Heide’s research explores how risk has been individualised in the UK life insurance industry over recent decades.
 

Download the case study
 


More about Policy and Public Affairs

The IFoA is a leading voice for the actuarial profession in the field of policy development and thought leadership.

Find out more about our work.

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Events calendar

  • Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020

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

    Due to COVID-19 we have taken the decision to turn a selection of the conference programme into a webinar series. Further announcements about this event will be made soon.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

  • Mortality and Longevity 2020

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

    Due to COVID-19 this event has been postponed until later in the year. A new date will be announced soon.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

  • PHC Conference webinar: CMI Update

    Online webinar
    10 June 2020

    Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    An update from the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) with content focused on the work of the Assurances Committee and the Income Protection Committee.

  • Webinar: IFoA Annual General Meeting

    Virtual meeting
    15 June 2020

    Spaces available

    Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries will be held online via a live webinar on Monday 15 June 2020. This will be followed by a Q&A session with the IFoA Leadership Team.

  • Spaces available

    Mark Williams will provide insight on this topic as IFoA Pensions Board Chair, lead actuarial representative on the PASA Working Group and head of Buck’s Square solution.

  • Pensions Conference 2020

    Worldwide
    18-19 June 2020
    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19, we are running this programme via a series of webinars commencing 16 June.

    Focussing on topics including funding and savings, pension law current issues, ESG, the end game and transferring risk, investment issues, data visualisation and data science. Expect a great line-up of speakers and a wide range of thought-provoking topics. 

  • Webinar: IFoA Presidential Address

    Online webinar
    18 June 2020

    Spaces available

    Tan Suee Chieh will be inaugurated as President of the IFoA at this year’s AGM. Join us for Suee Chieh’s Presidential address on Uncertainty, Culture and Imagination. Using the Covid-19 crisis as the backdrop, he will invite IFoA and the profession to re-imagine our roles in a digital age and a future fraught with uncertainty and opportunity.

  • TIGI 2020 (Technical Issues in General Insurance)

    Webinars
    22 June 2020 - 7 July 2020

    Spaces available

    Technical Issues in General Insurance provides content across all key areas of the general insurance sector whilst also offering cross-practice area technical topic deep-dives.

  • Spaces available

    This is the third webinar in the Extreme Mortality Events series presented by Chair of the Life Board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Colin Dutkiewicz.

    This discussion will have a look at the much talked about R0 number.  It will dissect why this average number is so poorly understood, and why it is a bad indicator of the pandemic progression.  In particular it will discuss how serious errors in decision making can be made by relying on this number.

     

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    In this session we will present the results of an international survey of claims assessors. We will explore key similarities and differences in claims practices in different locations, and their impact on the management of disability claims. 

  • Spaces available

    Climate change represents a material risk to future financial stability and creates implications for the work, actions and decision making of actuaries. Join us to learn about the science behind global warming and what that means for policy makers and society over the coming decades.

  • Spaces available

    The release of the PRA consultation paper may signal a good time for insurers to review and update their liquidity risk management framework. Within this presentation we discuss our interpretation of what the PRA’s liquidity consultation paper means for insurers and how this compares to our understanding of current market practice through answering the following questions: 

  • Spaces available

    Converting lifetime savings into a lifelong income are a fundamental part of pensions. Yet this is often not part of DC pension plans. One possibility is to offer a post-retirement, pooled annuity option, perhaps structured as a Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) plan, to retirees.  Pooled annuities convert lump-sum savings to a life annuity by collectively pooling longevity risk.

  • Spaces available

    Although ESG has many buyers across the asset allocation community, from pension funds to sovereign wealth funds, it still hasn’t found its place within the core asset management strategy desks where the money is actually invested. The problem as well as the opportunity is Fixed Income.

  • Spaces available

    Technical Issues in General Insurance

    The presentation will cover a summary of findings over the past few years of working on the boundary between data science and actuarial. The webinar will describe and review several data science approaches and discuss their relevance and use in actuarial pricing.

  • Spaces available

    A practical and theoretical look at risk from wider perspectives, drawing on theories and examples from other fields, as well as social experiments, the session aims to stimulate members to consider information asymmetry, bias, Bayesian methods, behavioural finance and behavioural psychology when determining pension scheme risk. 

  • Spaces available

    This talk expands on recent changes to Solvency II regulation to include sustainability risks and explores whether private equity offers an opportunity for making l long-term and impactful investments. 
    We will answer the following questions: 

    How sustainable private equity could be used in your portfolio to qualify for more favourable capital treatment under Solvency II?

  • Spaces available

    Technical Issues in General Insurance

    Across the General Insurance market actuarial pricing tools are being migrated from Excel to web-based technologies. Web based pricing technology offers many synergies with AI and Machine Learning. But they are often hampered by poor design and practically always perform worse than their Excel counterparts!

    The following will be presented: 

  • Spaces available

    In this talk we cover the practicalities of implementing ESG within real asset investment decisions. Capital deployed in real assets is invested for a long term and has far reaching impact on the environment and society.  However, implementing ESG into real asset investment decisions is not straightforward and requires a different approach to public market assets.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    This webinar will provide an overview of how and why we built a Death Toolbox using Shiny.  This includes a live demonstration of the tool that enables a user to explore mortality datasets without knowing specialist coding techniques.

  • Spaces available

    An update from the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI). Content will focus on the work of the Self-administered Pensions Schemes (SAPS) Mortality Committee and the Mortality Projections Committee and will cover the most relevant and up-to-date outputs.

  • Spaces available

    The PPF’s Purple Book provides the most comprehensive data on the UK universe of Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes in the private sector.  Analysing how this landscape has changed over time shows that whilst the risk profile of DB schemes has reduced underfunding has persisted.  The session will explore these trends and provide an insight into how funding may evolve in the future under a number of our modelled scenarios.   

  • Spaces available

    An online webinar delivered by John Taylor, President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries who will look at the prospects for the actuarial profession in the era of unprecedented technological innovation.

  • Spaces available

    Climate change risks are likely to become material for many risk management and investment decisions. This will require to incorporate explicitly climate change in the tools used for risk management and investment decisions. At present existing climate change tools are often too crude for decision making.

  • Spaces available

    Because of Covid-19, forecasters predict a severe recession in 2020, followed by a V or U-shaped recovery. This impacts both individuals and companies. However, compared to previous recessions, the impact on banks of higher credit losses should be mitigated to some extent by government actions. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    This session will provide an overview of the Population Health Management Working Party's research including defining impactability and impactability modelling, discussing some examples of specific modelling approaches, considering the practical challenges across the NHS as well as wider public perception and ethical issues.

  • Spaces available

    Many actuaries consider career opportunities in the Finance and Investment practice area after having started off in more traditional actuarial roles such as valuations, capital management or pricing. This session is aimed at helping actuaries to better understand roles in Finance and Investment and how they can fine tune their skills to pursue such careers.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    With the rising prevalence of dementia, how can we manage this risk effectively and can insurance do more? Matt Singleton, Ageing Lead at Swiss Re, will cover these topics and demonstrate how insurance could help people address their concerns.

  • PHC Conference webinar: Gene Modification

    Online webinar
    6 August 2020

    Spaces available

    Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Gen Re Life/Health Research and Development, Dr John O'Brien, will discuss the impacts of Gene Modification for life/health insurance. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. Modelling the structure and trends of cancer morbidity risk is important for pricing and reserving in related health insurance fields such as critical illness insurance and care provision. We model the dynamics of cancer incidence over time in different regions in England, using 1981-2016 ONS data. The modelling allows estimation of cancer rates at various age, year, gender and region levels, following a Bayesian setting to account for statistical uncertainty. Our analysis indicates significant regional variation in cancer incidence rates. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. In this talk we will outline the steps Aviva took in pulling together our first large-scale disclosures on the exposure of our business to climate change published in March 2019; in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. After touching on why insurers have such an important role in climate change, we'll cover a brief “how-to” guide for those who have not yet embarked on thinking about these topics before giving a case study of how the learnings from a TCFD disclosure exercise can be applied to investment portfolios.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. 

    The insurance industry currently underwrites customers with diabetes based on a range of factors, medical expertise and various medical studies. The work undertaken by the Diabetes Working Party would help the industry to approach this using current research findings to update and enhance how potential risk from diabetes is considered. This includes the need to understand the underwriting implications as treatments improve, and potentially to develop new products that are tailored to those with diabetes. This webinar will present our latest findings in the management of this important chronic condition which will include research in collaboration with the ARC.