From the Leadership Council

By Kurt F. Piper, FSPA, MAAA, ASA • October 12, 2016 • 0 Comments

From Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, Karen Smith, Bill Karbon, Judy Miller and I attended a meeting of the North American Actuarial Council (NAAC), which consists of the presidents and presidents-elect of the five U.S. actuarial organizations, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) and the three Mexican actuarial organizations. In addition to the topics presented and discussed, such meetings build personal bridges between the organizations which are useful for a small organization such as ACOPA to further the interests of ACOPA when issues arise.

One of the topics was an explanation of the Joint Academy/SOA Pension Finance Task Force that was recently disbanded. When the proposed paper did not meet the editorial standards of the Academy, some of the authors decided to complain to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal instead of rewriting the paper and just publishing it on their own, making it seem as if their views were being censored. The SOA has published an intermediate draft on its website, and will be publishing the draft shortly with comments by other actuaries. This is also an issue the ASB will be considering as an exposure draft in the not-distant future.

A second topic discussed was member engagement. Engagement in this sense as it applies to ACOPA would be finding ways to promote volunteerism, voting, using the listserv, speaking and attending sessions at conference and webcasts. Norm and I will be pleased to discuss ACOPA member engagement with anyone interested in the topic, at the bar in National Harbor, Md. 

A third topic concerned the ethics, or lack thereof, of the use of “Big Data.” There seems to be an assumption of implied consent to the use of data along with unintended uses of data. Privacy issues and confidentiality issues can be very thorny even when there is a degree of accountability, and when government is involved, there is no accountability even for Little Data.

A fourth topic was governance. The SOA, and perhaps other organizations, are attempting to shrink their board of directors. A stated motive would be to make the board cheaper and more nimble. 

A fifth topic, related to member engagement, was the changing face of volunteerism. The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) has an astounding 30% volunteer rate. Getting new members early into volunteering seems to be the first goal. Since a number of volunteer positions do not require a commitment of many hours, this appears to be doable. The question then is how to engage them.