Exploring New Actuarial Ideas and Applications Through Research

The SOA maintains and builds upon its body of actuarial research R. Dale Hall

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) continues to maintain and build upon its body of actuarial research to support our members and the profession. We would like to share with you the research efforts currently in development by our member volunteers and staff research resources.

Here’s a sample of the types of projects ahead:


Guide on Investment and Retirement Advice

The SOA Committee on Post-Retirement Needs and Risks has developed a guide for employers to use when considering advice options for a company retirement plan. The guide covers how investment and retirement advice differ, why plan design matters when choosing investment advice services, insights on automated advice systems, and other perspectives involving investment and retirement advice.

Health Provider Payer Arrangements

The SOA report, Provider Payment Arrangements, Provider Risk, and Their Relationship with the Cost of Health Care, serves as a resource used by health actuaries and others to explain various types of provider payment and risk arrangements. The report outlines the general steps and considerations for designing, implementing and measuring results of existing payment reform models, and it also offers case studies for reference.

Emerging Risks Survey Findings

The SOA, the Casualty Actuarial Society and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries’ Joint Risk Management Section released the latest emerging risks survey report. Cybersecurity was the leading risk of this risk manager survey. Read the report for the full findings.

1. The SOA recently established the Committee on Climate and Environmental Sustainability Research. One of its first projects will examine the use of discount rates in modeling the economic impact of a changing climate and environmental sustainability. The SOA is also pursuing research on quantifying the financial implications of extreme climate, and research on mitigating risk associated with environmental sustainability.

2. As we focus on future experience studies, we have formed an Experience Studies Executive Committee that reports to the SOA Board. The committee supports the volunteers who are reviewing and exploring new opportunities on vital experience study projects on behalf of our profession. The committee helps plan future studies and reviews the annual assessment process.

3. We’ve mentioned big data topics before, and this year is no different. We will have new collections of essays on predictive modeling and analytics, as well as essays on data visualization. We continue to support new ideas and practical applications within this growing area of data analysis.

4. The SOA continues to invest in necessary health care, long-term care and retirement research, from longevity risks and retirement income to aging and genetic testing.

5. In addition to research by sector and industry, our organization is hosting a research case study challenge for college and university students. This student case study brings together actuaries from both education and research standpoints. It provides a way to tap into the students’ new ideas and perspectives as part of the overall efforts supporting the actuarial profession. We urge you to take a look at the case studies that are developed through this project.

R. Dale Hall, FSA, CERA, MAAA, is managing director of Research at the Society of Actuaries.