President's Message (April 21, 2010)

Dear Academy Colleague,

The Academy continues to be engaged on many fronts, with all Practice Councils involved in multiple projects, as well as our on-going efforts to improve our support of the profession and professionalism through greater transparency and better governance. I'll highlight a few high-impact Practice Council initiatives later in this letter, but I want to start this message with a focus on the governance and transparency issues of concern to everyone.

Nominations for Regular Director Still Welcome

There is still time to submit names to the Nominating Committee for the three open regular director positions. You can nominate a future Academy leader by using the on-line form on the Academy website. Or you can send an e-mail to nominations@academy.org.

The 2010 Nominating Committee, which recently began meeting, will recommend a slate to fill the following Academy positions:

  • President-elect
  • Vice President, Casualty
  • Vice President, Health
  • Vice President, Professionalism
  • Secretary

The Nominating Committee gives primary consideration to individuals with a history of Academy service.

"Academy Advisors" Panel in Formation to Gather Member Input

On the recommendation of the 2010 Strategic Planning Committee, the Academy is forming an on-going panel of members - "Academy Advisors" - who will agree to complete periodic, short, web-based surveys. Results of these surveys will be shared with the Academy's leadership to add context and perspective to decision-making and governance. This is an approach that has been used successfully by some of our sister organizations. While there will be opportunities to sign up for Academy Advisors later this year, I invite you to be among the first to join by emailing your interest now to AcademyAdvisors@actuary.org.

The Governance Task Force and the 2010 Strategic Planning Committee continue working toward recommendations to the Academy's Board of Directors that will shape the future of the organization. Please take a moment to visit each group's page on the Academy website - the pages are updated as each group's work progresses - and while there take advantage of the opportunity to use the "suggestion box" feature on the pages to share your thoughts. You can find the Strategic Planning Committee here and the Governance Task Force here.

Practice Councils Moving on All Fronts

  • The Health Practice Council has quickly moved into the healthcare reform implementation phase. In a letter to Congress, we offered our actuarial expertise in the development of appropriate guidance related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and offered to work closely with the agencies that will have regulatory responsibility. This effort has already paid off as the Department of Health and Human Services requested a meeting with Al Bingham and a Council delegation to discuss the next steps in this process.
  • The Risk Management and Financial Reporting Council, the Casualty Practice Council, the Health Practice Council, the Pension Committee and the Committee on Qualifications provided comments to the Actuarial Standards Board concerning actuarial communications under proposed revisions to ASOP 41.
  • The Pension Committee, under the Pension Practice Council headed by Academy Vice President Ethan Kra, has commented to Treasury on recent regulations related to the Pension Protection Act. Comments were also sent to the PBGC in January on two separate issues (ERISA sections 4043 and 4041).
  • Over the past 60 days, the Life Reserves Work Group under the Life Practice Council has presented multiple reports to the NAIC's Life and Health Actuarial Task Force helping to define a Principle-Based Approach to reserving.

In Conclusion ...

... It's worth noting that since the beginning of the year we have lost two distinguished former presidents of the Academy - Bob Myers and Norm Crowder. These gentlemen were giants who lived out the mission of the Academy by serving the public on behalf of our profession. They influenced all of us and will be greatly missed. Thank you for your interest and support of the Academy! You can send us comments about any of the items mentioned above (including suggested names for the Nominating Committee) or any other Academy-related issue by emailing to communications@actuary.org.

Sincerely,

Ken Hohman
President
American Academy of Actuaries