The Social Security Committee released its updated monograph, Social Security Reform Options, that analyzes proposals to address Social Security’s financial challenges. Click here to read the news release. (March 3, 2014)
The Pension Committee sent comments to the Internal Revenue Service regarding Notice 2014-5, Temporary Nondiscrimination Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans and Request for Comments. (February 28, 2014)
The Public Plans Subcommittee published an issue brief introducing the objectives and principles for funding pension plans for state and local government. The brief states that policies used to establish funding for these plans should be formulated to maintain an appropriate balance among the competing objectives of benefit security, generational equity, and contribution stability. Read the news release. (February 19, 2014)
The Joint Committee on Retiree Health submitted comments to the Actuarial Standards Board on revisions to ASOP No. 35, Selection of Demographic and Other Noneconomic Assumptions for Measuring Pension Obligations. (February 2, 2014)
The Pension Committee submitted comments to the Actuarial Standards Board on revisions to ASOP No. 35, Selection of Demographic and Other Noneconomic Assumptions for Measuring Pension Obligations. (January 31, 2014)
The Pension Practice Council’s Forward Thinking Task Force released a public policy monograph that introduces a framework to examine retirement plans and policy proposals designed to provide a secure and sufficient retirement as part of its Retirement for the AGES initiative. In conjunction with the release of the monograph, the Academy hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on the initiative. Read the news release here. (January 17, 2014)
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding their request to make Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) consistent with the pension funding rules in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Read the news release. (January 8, 2014)
The Academy’s Pension Practice Council published an issue brief that examines the different measurements of the obligations of defined-benefit pension plans that discusses two common measurements: solvency value and budget value. Read the news release. (November 21, 2013)
Joint Committee on Retiree Health, Pension Committee, and Pension Finance Task Force sent a letter to the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) on coordinating Actuarial Standards of Practice (ASOPs) involving retirement benefits. (October 29, 2013)
The Pension Committee submitted comments to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) regarding the disclosure of material events on the Annual Funding Notice (AFN) for defined benefit plans. (October 3, 2013)
Pension Committee sent a letter to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) that supports the proposed regulations on premium rates, payment of premiums, and reducing regulatory burdens. (October 2, 2013)
The Pension Committee submitted comments to the Actuarial Standards Board on its recent modeling ASOP exposure draft that included concerns that the potential ASOP could be applied too broadly. (September 27, 2013)
The Pension Finance Task Force sent a letter to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that provides suggestions, based on financial economics, to improve accounting for single employer pension plans, an issue that FASB may consider revisiting. (September 26, 2013)
The Pension Committee sent comments to the Internal Revenue Service regarding the Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan (Form 5500) that focus on the electronic submission of data on Schedules SB and MB. The committee applauds the electronic filing mandate, but raises concerns over how to ensure reliability of the data and suggests sample reviews to ensure better accuracy. (September 23, 2013)
Joint Committee on Retiree Health submits comments to the Actuarial Standards Board on revisions to a second exposure draft of ASOP No. 6, Measuring Retiree Group Benefits Obligations and Determining Retiree Group Benefits Program Periodic Costs or Prefunding Contributions. (August 30, 2013)
Health and Pension Practice Council sent a letter to the Actuarial Standards Board on coordinating Actuarial Standards of Practice (ASOP) affecting pension and retiree group benefits. (August 30, 2013)
The Pension Committee published an issue brief addressing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s deficit in its single-employer program. The issue brief concludes that the agency’s methods and assumptions have produced a reasonable representation of the PBGC single-employer program’s current obligation and deficit. The issue brief explains that while policymakers should explore new sources of income to address the deficit, immediate premium increases on plan sponsors are unnecessary and potentially counterproductive. Read the news release. (August 22, 2013)
The Social Security Committee updated its annual issue brief on the 2013 Social Security Trustees Report that outlined the trust fund’s current financial status, long-range estimates of the program’s solvency, and the need to reform the program to ensure sustainable solvency. (August 12, 2013)
The Pension Committee submitted its views to the Department of Labor regarding the agency’s proposal to add lifetime-income information to pension benefit statements. The committee commended the DOL for requiring lifetime income disclosures under section 105 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and offered comments on specific topics, including assumed rates of return, drawdown illustrations, and projected retirement ages. (August 7, 2013)
Henry Rood, first Academy president, begins to raise publicly the new challenges actuaries face in the public sphere, stressing the need for licensing, certifying, or otherwise accrediting qualified actuaries.
A meeting is held in New York to review a proposed charter and bylaws for the organization that would become the Academy, and to discuss mechanics of determining eligibility for membership.
In December, immediately after its formation, the Academy issues its own Guides to Professional Conduct (a precursor to today’s Code of Professional Conduct), which covered the topics of: professional duty, nature of the member’s responsibility to the principal, relationship with the principal, impartiality, independence, advertising and publicity and relations with other members, remuneration and use of titles.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) supports recognized standards of actuarial competence and conduct and urges commissioners to support the Academy’s efforts to gain official recognition. Today, every state has structures in place that recognize Academy membership as the qualification for signing NAIC insurance company annual statements actuarial opinions.
The Accounting Principles Board (precursor to the Financial Accounting Standards Board) issues Opinion 8, “Accounting for the Cost of Pension Plans,” which states that membership in the Academy is evidence of professional qualifications.
The Academy’s Guides to Professional Conduct are revised and expanded by adding an Interpretative Opinion on Relations with Other Actuaries. Other changes and additional Interpretative Opinions follow on an ad-hoc basis.
In an attempt to facilitate the development of uniform standards of conduct within the actuarial profession, a Joint Committee on Professional Conduct is created to coordinate activities among the professional conduct committees of the Academy and the four other U.S.-based actuarial organizations and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. This effort yielded a uniform format of Guides among the organizations but differences still remained.
The Academy Board establishes procedures for appointing Academy disciplinary boards, requiring they be composed of members who are not serving on the Investigating Committee, Prosecuting Committee, or the Board of Directors, and that they be named by the president. Disciplinary boards were empowered to hear evidence relating to charges and to make findings with respect to such evidence. Said findings shall be reported to the Board for appropriate action.
In response to a request from U.S. Rep. John H. Dent, the Academy provides comments relating to the definition and role of the actuary on pension plan certifications in discussion on H.R.2, which would become law as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in 1974.
The Academy establishes two committees, one for Life Qualifications and the other for Property and Liability Qualifications, to recommend standards for signing Actuarial Opinions for NAIC annual statements.
July 1, 1988
After three years of successful operation, the permanent Actuarial Standards Board is formally established as an entity within the Academy by vote of its members and through its bylaws, charged with creating and reviewing actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs).
The Academy begins process of creating a central disciplinary body within the Academy—the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline—to serve the entire profession by conducting disciplinary investigations and providing confidential guidance to actuaries with respect to actuaries' Code obligations.
The Board establishes the Committee on Actuarial Public Service to promote the contributions of actuaries working in the public sector, to develop statements and policies on issues affecting public sector actuaries, and to encourage actuarial employment and other participation in public service areas.
The Jarvis Farley Service Award is created to recognize an Academy volunteer whose efforts have made significant contributions to the advancement of the profession. The first recipient is Mary Hardiman Adams (1992).
The efforts to try to develop a single uniform Code of Professional Conduct result in two more versions (the 1992 Code and the 1994 Code), but each still had or developed variations by organization. (The Canadian Institute of Actuaries did not adopt these Codes due to the differences in laws and customs in Canada and the responsibilities imposed upon it as the result of its federal charter.)
The Academy establishes the Robert J. Myers Public Service Award to honor actuaries who have made an exceptional contribution to the common good. The inaugural recipient, John O. Montgomery, is awarded the following year.
To address the continuing differences among the U.S.-based organizations’ codes of conduct and the issues created by the differences, the Joint Committee on the Code of Professional Conduct is established by the Academy with the charge to update and redraft the 1994 Code so that it could be adopted as the same, identical document by each of the U.S.-based actuarial organizations. This effort took four more years to achieve.
After significant restructuring and revision and two exposure drafts, the Joint Committee on the Code develops a single Code of Professional Conduct (2001 Code) that was adopted, without variations, by the boards of each of the U.S.-based actuarial organizations, effective January 1, 2001. The committee also assumed the responsibility of monitoring the current Code on an ongoing basis and, when needed, to propose revisions that could be adopted in identical form and become effective concurrently by each of the organizations.
Globalization of actuarial practice leads to inclusion for the first time in the 2001 Code of language to alert actuaries to the fact that when they practice in jurisdictions outside of the United States, they are also subject to any recognized actuarial standards of conduct promulgated for those jurisdictions, identifying the need for actuaries to be aware of the requirements of law and the primacy of the law when it conflicts with the Code.
The Actuarial Foundation (TAF) is formed through a merger of the Actuarial Education and Research Fund (AERF, founded 1976) and the Actuarial Foundation (founded 1994). All five U.S.-based actuarial organizations support the administration and operation of TAF so that all contributions from other donors can go directly to program activities.
The Academy Board issues guidelines for making public statements, which required that the statements be consistent with the mission and purpose of the Academy and grounded in actuarial science. Statements may go beyond the narrow areas where the actuary’s knowledge is unique if that statement will contribute to discourse on an issue that is of interest to the Academy, its members, and the public.
To encourage recruitment for the growing number of Academy volunteer opportunities, the Volunteer Resource Committee is formed, charged with developing and annual survey to describe volunteer activities.
January 1, 2008
The Qualification Standards are revised, by action of the Academy Board, increasing continuing education requirements, and, for the first time, becoming effective for all credentialed actuaries providing Statements of Actuarial Opinion (SAOs) in the United States. Before this time, the USQS were only applicable to actuaries issuing statutory SAOs.
The Academy’s Public Interest Committee organizes a public forum to hear stakeholder views on the disclosure of the market value of assets and liabilities for public pension plans. Panelists including plan administrators, public officials, regulators, investment advisers, and actuaries discuss the relationship between financial disclosures and good public plan decision-making.
The NAIC’s adoption of the new Model Standard Valuation Law sets into motion state adoptions of Principle-Based Reserving (PBR) for life insurance products, which the Academy’s Life Practice Council was instrumental in developing.
In order to provide a service to enhance professionalism documentation to the entire U.S. actuarial profession, the Academy develops TRACE—“Tracking Your CE”—offered to all actuaries regardless of their membership affiliations and without charge. TRACE was developed to reflect the terminology and references from the continuing education requirements established by the U.S. Qualification Standards.
The Academy's Public Pension Plan Task Force releases a comprehensive report, Risk Management and Public Plan Retirement Systems, which examines the criteria for disclosure from a risk management perspective.
The Board adopts a policy that all Academy members who are members of any Academy board, committee, subcommittee, work group, task force, etc. annually comply with and attest to their compliance with the continuing education requirements of the U.S. Qualification Standards to serve as members of such committees.
The Academy files an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on the question of whether the individual health insurance mandate included in the Affordable Care Act could be severed from the act’s other provisions. The brief does not take a position on the law itself. Of hundreds of briefs submitted, the Academy’s is one of only a handful cited by both sides.
The Academy begins hosting a breakfast at national NAIC meetings to allow regulators to discuss candidly professionalism issues of concern to regulators with Academy professionalism volunteers knowledgeable about qualifications, practice standards, and discipline procedures.
The Academy executes a public policy research partnership with the Health Care Cost Institute to complement the Academy’s intensive examination of health care costs and quality of care in the United States.
The Academy introduces Essential Elements, a series of concise and informative papers designed to provide a quick and easy-to-understand overview of key public policy issues of interest to Academy members, policymakers and the general public. By mid-2015, the Academy had published 11 Essential Elements papers.
A major initiative, Retirement for the AGES, is unveiled with a public policy monograph and plans to assess plans around four key principles: Alignment, Governance, Efficiency, and Sustainability, assigning letter grades to pension plans to foster public discussion of merits and drawbacks of various systems.
The Academy holds a stand-alone signature Annual Meeting and Public Policy Forum, including presentations from prominent policymakers and educational sessions on issues relevant to each practice area, with participation from actuarial experts, White House and congressional staff, and academics.
U. S. Department of Labor in gathering occupational information about actuaries for a national database that provides information about the skills, abilities, and activities for about 900 occupations nationwide.
The Academy premieres the Actuarial Standards Board’s enhanced website, which features a clean, contemporary look; interactive features to access the actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs), exposure drafts, and discussion drafts; and is designed to be accessible on mobile devices.
The Council on Professionalism releases the results of an ethics survey that was sent to all members. More than 3,300 members respond to questions about key perceptions of potential ethical issues facing the profession.
The Actuarial eLearning Center is unveiled, giving Academy members an opportunity to earn USQS continuing education credits in an online module through a thought-provoking interactive course on the Code, with an assessment and certificate to demonstrate achievement.
In order to objectively consider viewpoints from all stakeholders, the Actuarial Standards Board holds a rare public hearing on proposed actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs) on public pension issues.