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Life research working parties

The Life practice area is active in member-led research

Member-led research working parties are volunteer-led working groups that conduct research on timely topics of wide interest to the practice area and the profession.

The Life Research Sub-committee (LRC) has oversight of all the working parties listed below and encourages them to undertake research that can be shared with Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) members via sessional papers, articles in The Actuary or the British Actuarial Journal (BAJ), and presentations at conferences or workshops.

There are currently 17 active Life research working parties working on the following topics:

  • Advice Gap in UK Market - the research encompasses life, pension and investment, and the working party will align and build on existing research, both from within the profession and externally.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Automation - this group will consider how new technology will change the future role of life and health and care actuaries and will consider how actuarial practice needs to evolve
  • Climate Change - this working party will seek to help life actuaries efficiently find such information and understand industry practices.
  • Equity Release Mortgages - looking at the "matching adjustment" of Solvency II.
  • Extreme Events - this is a Cross Practice Research Working Party shared with Finance  and Investment, that is widening understanding of the various methodologies that could be used for developing benchmark figures, including the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • IFRS 17: Contractual Service Margin (CSM) - will analyse the impact of different approaches of calculating the Contractual Service Margin (CSM) at initial recognition and subsequent measurement, with respect to life insurance products under the Building Block Approach (i.e. Annuities and Protection) and the Variable Fee Approach (i.e. With-Profits) for both existing and new business.
  • IFRS 17: Future of Discount rates - will investigate discount rates as they function under IFRS 17
  • Insurers' hidden risks from Reinsurance recaptures: the perspective of  UK annuity writers - to explore annuity writers’ exposure to; and management and mitigation of a reinsurance recapture or similar event that leads to an insurer being required to recognise previously reinsured risk(s)
  • Life Asia Sub-committee Research Group - will investigate Life Insurance in Asia, including commissioning a consumer survey in three territories.  The research is entitled The Protection Gap: Assessing Consumer Protection Needs in Asia
  • Life Office Taxation - aims to keep abreast of new developments in the field of Life Office tax
  • Life Reinsurance - improving the understanding of the benefits of reinsurance in the life sector and the issues that currently exist
  • Long Term Product Guarantees - will investigate long terms guarantees on pensions, savings, protection, and annuity products.  The two key questions to be answered are: Do long-term insurance guarantees have a future in the UK?  And what could be done to make them more affordable and attractive?
  • Management of closed With-profit Funds - to improve customer outcomes for those who have policies in closed with-profits funds
  • Management of Matching Adjustments - considering the management of Matching Adjustments as a measure approved by PRA under Solvency II but whose subsequent management is not laid down in all areas
  • Modelling Pre and Post Retirement Savings Products - “The goal (of this working party) is to support the life insurance, pensions and retirement industry with relevant research to support new product innovation by bringing together research on investments, products and consumers with the ultimate goal to increase consumer choice and value for money”.

If you have your own ideas for member-led research you would like to pursue, please refer to our Guidance for Research Working Parties or contact the communities team.

All members are encouraged to volunteer for a research working party

Members interested in volunteering for a research working party should check Volunteer vacancies for current and new working parties.

The IFoA is also actively involved in commissioning strategic and external research relating to Life Insurance

Information on research undertaken by universities and other external agencies which receive funding and/or support from the IFoA, as well as the IFoA’s strategy for involvement, the process for calls for research, current research initiatives, and funding, can be found in Research and Knowledge.

Related documents

Contact Details

For more information about Life working parties contact the CommunitiesTeam.

professional.communities@actuaries.org.uk

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Events calendar

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Fully booked.

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    The role of actuaries within the health sector varies considerably from one country to another, due to differences in the local evolution of health systems and the funding models for health services. 

  • Spaces available

    This paper outlines key frameworks for reserving validation and techniques employed. Many companies lack an embedded reserve validation framework and validation is viewed as piecemeal and unstructured.  The paper outlines a case study demonstrating how successful machine learning techniques will become and then goes on to discuss implications.  The paper explores common validation approaches and their role in enhancing governance and confidence.

  • Spaces available

    Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.
     

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA Policy Briefing 'Can we help consumers avoid running out of money in retirement' examined the benefits of blending a lifetime annuity with income drawdown. Panellists, including providers and advisers, will look at the market practicalities of taking the actuarial theory through into the core advice propositions used by IFAs and Fund Managers. They will share a number of practical issues such as investment consequences before and after retirement and the level of annuity that is appropriate and answer questions from the audience.

  • Speech from the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey

    Lincoln's Inn The Treasury Office, London WC2A 3TL
    1 December 2021

    The IFoA is pleased to be hosting the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, to deliver a speech on delivering policyholder protection in insurance regulation.

    The speech will be presented to an in-person audience, and simultaneously live-streamed, at 14.00 on Wednesday 1st December.

  • The Many Faces of Bias

    2 December 2021

    Spaces available

    This webinar looks at the many types of biases, both conscious and unconscious and the impacts they can have in the workplace.  Raising our own awareness and understanding of the issues can help us avoid the pitfalls of unconscious bias in particular.  We’ve all heard the phrase ‘office banter’ but are we sure that’s how those on the receiving end perceive it and is it ok to go along with it?

  • Spaces available

    Actuaries need to take action now - but how?  With a focus on climate change, this session will provide informed insight to enable you to improve your knowledge and understanding of the issues involved, demonstrate how it will impact advice to your clients, and highlight prospective opportunities for actuaries within pensions and wider fields.

  • Spaces available

    Pension scams have become more prevalent as a result of the pandemic, and Trustees have increased responsibilities to protect members, which means that actuaries need to be in a position to provide advice in this area. Our specialist panel will include a professional trustee, an IFA and head administrator, two of whom are members of PASA.

  • Spaces available

    The Covid-19 pandemic creates a challenge for actuaries analysing experience data that includes mortality shocks.  To address this we present a methodology for modelling portfolio mortality data that offers local flexibility in the time dimension.  The approach permits the identification of seasonal variation, mortality shocks, and late-reported deaths.  The methodology also allows actuaries to measure portfolio-specific mortality improvements.  Results are given for a mature annuity portfolio in the UK

  • Spaces available

    In this webinar, the authors of the 2021 Brian Hey prize winning paper present a new deep learning model called the LocalGLMnet. While deep learning models lead to very competitive regression models, often outperforming classical statistical models such as generalized linear models, the disadvantage is that deep learning solutions are difficult to interpret and explain, and variable selection is not easily possible.

  • Spaces available

    The dominant underwriting approach is a mix between rule-based engines and traditional underwriting. Applications are first assessed by automated rule-based engines which typically are capable of processing only simple applications. The remaining applications are reviewed by underwriters or referred to the reinsurers. This research aims to construct predictive machine learning models for complicated applications that cannot be processed by rule-based engines.

  • Spaces available

    With the Pension Schemes Act 2021 requiring a long term strategy from Trustees and sponsors, choosing a pensions endgame strategy has become even more critical. However, it is important that the endgame options available are adequately assessed before choosing one. With an ever-increasing array of creative and innovative options available, this decision may not be straightforward.