This Week: Dec. 19, 2016 - Jan. 6, 2017

Read the latest news from the Academy.

Recent Academy Activity, Dec. 19, 2016–Jan. 6, 2017

Professionalism Webinar on Actuarial Communications Draws More Than 2,000 Attendees

More than 2,000 people attended the Academy’s Dec. 21 professionalism webinar that focused on a topic of perennial interest: actuarial communications, particularly documentation and disclosures.

Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD) Chairperson Richard Block and ABCD member Janet Carstens gave an overview of both the ABCD and Actuarial Standard of Practice (ASOP) No. 41, Actuarial Communications. Their presentation centered on responsibility for assumptions and methods, including what the actuary will typically disclose when an assumption is set by a third party or the law. They also reviewed other disclosures required by ASOP No. 41, such as conflicts of interest, reliance on sources of information, and uncertainties or risk.

Slides and audio are available to members without charge on the Academy’s webinar page.

Post-NAIC Webinar Covers Life Issues

The Life Practice Council’s (LPC) post-NAIC webinar Thursday covered key life issues from the NAIC Fall 2016 National Meeting held last month in Miami. Speakers provided an overview of the Life Actuarial (A) Task Force meeting, and updates on principle-based reserving (PBR), NAIC risk-based capital and other capital activities, and reinsurance developments. It was also announced that the LPC will host another PBR Boot Camp, following last year’s successful boot camps, May 22–24 in Orlando, Fla. Slides and audio of the webinar are available for members without charge on the Academy’s webinar page.

Now Available: P/C Loss Reserve Law Manual

The Academy’s 2016 Property/Casualty Loss Reserve Law Manual is now available. Updated annually and designed to help appointed property/casualty (P/C) actuaries comply with NAIC annual statement requirements, the manual includes SAO requirements and state laws and regulations establishing those requirements; annual statement instructions for the SAOs for P/C, title loss, and loss expense reserves; and other pertinent annual statement instructions. It is available in two formats—web/online or CD-ROM. Members can order online by logging in to Academy’s website or via mail/fax.

Now Accepting Preorders: Life & Health Valuation Law Manual

The 2017 Life & Health Valuation Law Manual—designed to help appointed life and health actuaries comply with the requirements of the NAIC model Standard Valuation Law and the Model Actuarial Opinion and Memorandum Regulation—is now available for preorder. The manual includes a current-topics section outlining key valuation developments and state guidance, NAIC model laws and regulations that have an effect on reserve calculations, a discussion of generally distributed interpretations, and copies of the current actuarial guidelines from the NAIC Examiners Handbook. Reserve your copy today.

Call for Volunteers—Academy Seeks Pooled Health Plan Data

Section 3.7.7(b) of the revised ASOP No. 6, Measuring Retiree Group Benefits Obligations and Determining Retiree Group Benefits Program Periodic Costs or Actuarially Determined Contributions, calls for consideration of age-specific costs within a pooled health plan. One large pooled health plan, CalPERS, has made its age-specific cost data publicly available—a link to this data can be found on the Academy website. The Academy is interested in working with other pooled fund administrators to make similar data publicly available to actuaries.

If you are a health actuary who has worked with and/or has contacts at large pooled health funds across the country, and can assist in the Academy’s goal to make contact with large pooled fund administrators, we want to hear from you. If you can help, have any questions about this call for volunteer assistance, or need additional information, please contact Heather Jerbi, assistant director of public policy, at jerbi@actuary.org.

ASB Adopts Final Revision of ASOP No. 24

The Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) recently adopted a final revision of ASOP No. 24, Compliance with the NAIC Life Insurance Illustrations Model Regulation, which provides guidance to actuaries when performing professional services pursuant to applicable law based on the NAIC Life Insurance Illustrations Model Regulation and related NAIC actuarial guidelines or when performing professional services with respect to illustrations represented to be in accordance with that model.

Recently Released

  • In the January/February issue of Contingencies, the cover theme “The Future Is Here” includes feature stories looking at telehealth, retail medical clinics, long-term care financing, and transparency in a changing U.S. health care system. Other stories explore the ABCD as a critical part of the infrastructure of U.S. actuarial professionalism; a look at catastrophic medical claims and how to mitigate against them; and an incisive look at two books that cast the actuarial profession in a less-than-rosy light.
  • The December Actuarial Update covers the Health Practice Council’s (HPC) letters to Congress cautioning against repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without having a viable replacement plan in place, which received widespread media attention. Also included are the Academy’s professionalism and public policy presentations at the NAIC Fall 2016 National Meeting; the Dec. 21 professionalism webinar on actuarial communications, which drew more than 2,000 attendees; the P/C loss reserve seminar, practice note, and law manual; and the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline’s redesigned website.
  • The winter issue of PBA Perspectives includes an update on the status of principle-based reserving (PBR); PBR issues addressed at the NAIC Fall 2016 National Meeting; the ongoing PBR Pilot Project; and Life Practice Council updates.

Upcoming Events

  • P/C Loss Reserve Opinion Writing Webinar: Join the Academy on Thursday, Jan. 19, from noon to 1:30 p.m. EST, for a webinar on P/C Loss Reserve Opinion Writing. Committee on Property Committee on Property and Liability Financial Reporting Chairperson Lisa Slotznick will review the relevant ASOPs and the guidance that they provide, and Kathy Odomirok, chairperson of the working group that wrote the practice note, will highlight what has changed in the past year. This will be a summary of two presentations from the December P/C loss opinion seminar and will offer the opportunity for attendees to review essential information. Register today.
  • Post-NAIC P/C Webinar: The Casualty Practice Council (CPC) will host a post-NAIC webinar on Thursday, Jan. 26, from noon to 1 p.m. EST. The webinar will review discussions of top P/C issues, including an account of the Casualty Actuarial and Statistical (C) Task Force and other key meetings at the NAIC Fall 2016 National Meeting. CPC Vice President Rade Musulin will be the moderator. Register today.

See our website for a listing of all Academy events.

Public Policy Activities

  • The Pension Cost Work Group released an issue brief, Alternatives for Pension Cost Recognition—Implementation Approaches Using Bond Models, that explores different approaches for determining pension costs.
  • The Committee on Property and Liability Financial Reporting released the practice note, Statements of Actuarial Opinion on P/C Loss Reserves.
  • The Property and Casualty Risk-Based Capital Committee and the Health Solvency Subcommittee jointly submitted a comment letter to the NAIC’s Operational Risk (E) Subgroup on proposed changes to the operational risk factor in risk-based capital formulas for property/casualty and health.
  • The GASB 74 Implementation Work Group of the Retiree Benefits Subcommittee submitted comments on the GASB 74 implementation guide exposure draft that addresses financial reporting for postemployment benefit plans other than pension plans.
  • The Life Operational Risk Work Group submitted comments to the NAIC’s Operational Risk (E) Subgroup on proposed operational risk factors and growth charge for the life risk-based capital (RBC) formula.

Alerts

  • The Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries posted on the IRS website the form for Enrolled Actuaries (EAs) seeking to apply for renewal of enrollment for the 2017-2020 enrollment cycle.
  • The IRS issued a proposed rule that prescribes mortality tables for determining present values used by most defined benefit pension plans.
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a final rule to implement changes to the certification process for the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program as required by the TRIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.
  • The independent Office of Financial Research within the U.S. Department of the Treasury published its 2016 Annual Report to Congress, describing key research findings and highlighting priorities for 2017 and beyond.
  • Subscribe to Member Alerts: Subscribers to the Academy’s alerts are notified by email when a new alert is posted in their area(s) of interest. The alerts are available in five areas of focus: casualty, health, life, pension, and cross-practice issues. Academy members may subscribe to any or all of them free of charge as a member service after signing in to the member section of the website.

In the News

  • More than 600 media outlets—including CNBC, MSN, Reuters, Yahoo Finance, Huffington Post, and Business Insider—have covered the HPC’s December letters to the U.S. House and Senate on the potential implications of ACA repeal without immediate replacement.
  • National Public Radio cited the HPC’s letters to the U.S. House and Senate. The story was reprinted by nearly 90 media outlets.
  • A subscriber-only Bloomberg BNA story discussing ACA repeal efforts and potential changes to Medicare and Medicaid programs quoted Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello on the difficulties of implementing certain proposed provisions such as continuous coverage without a full ACA replacement.
  • A CNN Money story on retirement-income strategies for 401(k) participants cited the widely praised Actuaries Longevity Illustrator, developed jointly by the Academy and the Society of Actuaries, as a useful tool to help people understand longevity risk. The story was reprinted by Real Deal Retirement and Gant Daily. The illustrator also was cited on a syndicated retirement planning radio show on All News 106.7 (Atlanta) on Dec. 18.
  • International law firm Sutherland published a report on the NAIC’s Fall 2016 National Meeting that discussed the Academy’s role throughout the meeting in informing regulators on bond factors; solvency, longevity risk, operational risk issues; and other topics. The report was reprinted by JD Supra Business Advisor.
  • A JD Supra Business Advisor story on the NAIC’s 2017 plans for its Big Data
    Working Group quoted Oregon Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali’s comments from the Academy’s Annual Meeting and Public Policy Forum in November.

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