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Recent Academy Activity, November 3-7, 2014
Past, Present and Incoming Presidents Speak on Academy Role and Future
In 2015, the American Academy of Actuaries will celebrate its golden anniversary. In anticipation, the October issue of Actuarial Update features an interview with Academy presidential leadership—Past President Cecil D. Bykerk, President Tom Terry and President-Elect Mary D. Miller—discussing some of the differences between the Academy and the Society of Actuaries, and how the Academy is positioning itself for the future. This month’s issue also includes retrospectives from outgoing Academy officers; a revised tool to aid in deciding whether you’re using the right actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs); appointments to positions at the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD) and the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB); and much more.
Academy President Tom Terry helped kick off the Actuarial Society of New York’s Nov. 5 fall meeting in New York as the speaker for its general session “Professionalism: Meeting High Expectations in a Fast-Changing World.” The session provided several hundred actuaries in attendance with an update on recent Academy activities, including highlights of professionalism activities, and perspectives on the long-term future of the actuarial profession in the United States.
News from the ASB
The Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) has adopted a final revision of ASOP No. 35, Selection of Demographic and Other Noneconomic Assumptions for Measuring Pension Obligations. The standard will be effective for any actuarial work product with a measurement date on or after June 30, 2015. Earlier adoption of the standard is encouraged. The ASB has also approved an exposure draft of a revision to ASOP No. 34, Actuarial Practice Concerning Retirement Plan Benefits in Domestic Relations Actions. The ASB is issuing the proposed revision to address concerns that the existing disclosure requirements in the standard do not sufficiently assist users in understanding large differences in the valuation results prepared by different actuaries.
Annual Meeting and Public Policy Forum, Nov. 13-14
The American Academy of Actuaries is pleased to announce that Nora Super, executive director of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA), will speak at the Academy’s 2014 Annual Meeting and Public Policy Forum on Nov. 13. This is an opportunity to get an early preview of how the WHCOA will approach the public policy challenges raised by the aging of the U.S. population, and to learn about outreach and engagement efforts leading up to the conference. Thomas Sullivan, senior insurance adviser with the Federal Reserve Board, will join the Nov. 14 morning panel discussion, “What in the World is Going on Internationally?” The annual meeting offers public policy and professionalism content relevant to all actuarial areas of practice, the opportunity to earn up to 12.2 organized activity continuing education (CE) credits and 1.5 professionalism CE credits, as well as entertainment and networking opportunities. View the agenda, updated with the latest speakers, and register here.
Opportunities to Learn
New professionalism webinar announced. The May 2014 update of ASOP No. 6, Measuring Retiree Group Benefits Obligations and Determining Retiree Group Benefits Program Periodic Costs or Actuarially Determined Contributions, included a number of changes that have practical implications for actuaries. Join the Academy’s professionalism team for a Nov. 24 webinar, The New ASOP 6: Does Your Actuarial Work Measure Up? The webinar will provide an overview of the changes, review aspects of the U.S. Qualification Standards, and explain how data recently made available by the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) pertain to the new requirements for developing age-specific costs.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Service, will propose rules to address concerns that some group health plans can satisfy the requirements for providing minimum value (MV) without providing in-patient hospitalization coverage. Learn more by logging in to the members-only page and visiting “Health Alerts.”
The Academy hosted a Capitol Forum webinar, “NCOIL: Impacting State Insurance Policy,” on Monday. Special guest speaker George Keiser, North Dakota state representative and former National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) president, led the discussion and was joined by Academy Senior Life Fellow Nancy Bennett. Keiser provided insight into NCOIL’s role in shaping insurance legislation and regulations, and how the Academy contributes. Slides and the recorded presentation from the webinar are available online.
Public Policy Activities
The Financial Regulatory Task Force submitted a comment letter to the Financial Stability and Oversight Council on the prominent role of actuaries in supporting sound financial and insurance systems, and the task force’s perspective on updates to actuarial standards and guidance.
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst represented the Academy at the Brookings Institution event “Better Financial Security in Old-Age? The Promise of Longevity Annuities.” Fuerst provided the actuarial perspective during a panel discussion exploring barriers to market development of longevity annuities. Joining Fuerst on the panel were J. Mark Iwry, deputy assistant secretary for retirement and health policy at the U.S. Treasury Department, James Mumford, Iowa state deputy insurance commissioner, and Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Visit the Academy Newsroom to download the forum podcast.
The Contingent Annuity Issues Work Group sent a comment letter to the NAIC Contingent Deferred Annuity (A) Working Group on regulatory guidance for issuers of CDAs.
Newly Released Publications
November/December Contingencies: Read one perspective on why regulators need to act now to ensure an efficient marketplace for long-term care insurance, take a look back at how the historical concept of “strategy” can offer a fresh perspective on modern-day business climate, read President Tom Terry’s message on preserving the public’s trust in actuarial work, and much more.
The Academy released a new Essential Elementspaper, Medicaid Overview, on the federal-state program that funds health care for millions of low-income Americans. The Essential Elementsseries is designed to make actuarial analyses of public policy issues clearer to general audiences.
Academy In the News
USA Todayreached out to Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello for an actuarial perspective on news that federal health officials plan to change the MV test to no longer allow large employers to offer health insurance plans that lack hospitalization coverage. The story was published on Nov. 3 in USA Today and republished by several outlets and network affiliates including the (Pittsburgh) Tribune-Review, (Port Clinton, Ohio) News Herald, (Tampa, Fla.) CBS 10, and (Buffalo, N.Y.) NBC 2.
Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst’s participation in a Brookings Institution panel discussion was mentioned in a Forbes column, “Will Retirees Come To Love Longevity Annuities?” The column discusses longevity annuities and their use in individual financial planning strategies.
A Health Affairs Blogpost that provides a technical review of the MV calculator mentioned the Academy, noting, “MV may be established for nonstandard plans through an actuarial certification provided by a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.”
The Solvency Committee’s June 5 letter to Congress supporting passage of the Insurance Capital Standards Clarification Act of 2014 was cited in a National Review opinion piece.
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