Sharpening the Pricing Pencil


May 06, 2015


New York Marriott Marquis
New York, NY

  • Results-Oriented Solutions
  • Technical Skills & Analytical Problem Solving
  • Strategic Insight and Integration
  • External Forces & Industry Knowledge

Registration is now closed. The SOA Customer Service Center is available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CDT. Please call 888.697.3900.


Program Overview

There are several different methodologies used by life insurance companies, along with the consultants who do work for them, in pricing insurance and retirement products. Which techniques are the most appropriate to use often depends on the situation. And there are always ways to better refine the work product produced, in terms of both metrics used and assumption development.

This seminar will focus attendees on what the leading edge practices are in each of these areas. Attendees will leave better equipped to do a thorough job evaluating proposed new product designs, while developing appropriate solutions to meet the needs of all key stakeholders.

The presenters will expound upon:

  • The basics of pricing project goal setting and metrics
  • The various components of a well thought out pricing model and project
  • Best practices in assumption setting and refinement

The seminar will have several panel discussions on these topics, but will also include hands-on case studies, so that attendees can immediately apply some of the skills they have acquired.


  1. Pricing Project Basics
    1. Profit Metrics, with Strengths and Weaknesses of Each
    2. Best Practices in Goal Setting
    3. Potential Pitfalls

  2. Components of Pricing, and Best Practices for Each
    1. Interest Rate trends, and other Market Factors
    2. Mortality, including Level, Slope, and Trends
    3. Policyholder Behavior Issues
    4. Expense pressures
    5. Regulatory Considerations, Including Financing of Redundancies
    6. Reinsurance

  3. Assumption Refinements and Modeling
    1. Experience Studies
    2. Best Practices for Assumption Revision based on Unfolding Experience
    3. Modeling Techniques for Complex Assumptions

  4. Facilitated Case Studies, with Table Participation, to come up with Basic Solutions
    1. Life Insurance Case Study - Term
    2. Annuity Case Study - Deferred Income Annuity

  5. "Tying It All Together"
    1. Summary of key points
    2. Host summarizes what he has heard and tees up questions and comments
    3. Question and answer session

Educational Objectives

At the conclusion of this seminar, attendees:

  • Understand the product development process and how company financial objectives are met via robust design and pricing of new life insurance & annuity products
  • Understand key components of a strong well-thought-out pricing model, including key types of assumptions
  • Understand leading edge practices in setting and refining those assumptions

Target Audience

  • Emerging and practicing product development actuaries
  • Pre-fellows seeking professional development credits
  • Financial reporting actuaries interested in how new reporting requirements are affecting pricing
  • Reinsurance actuaries interested in how modern reinsurance impacts pricing
  • Risk section actuaries interested in how modern risk management techniques are used in pricing

Level of Difficulty

The seminar is designed for participants with low to moderate experience .




Demonstrating the listening, writing and speaking skills required to effectively address diverse technical and nontechnical audiences in both formal and informal settings.

Professional Values

Adhering to standards of professional conduct and practice where all business interactions are based on a foundation of integrity, honesty and impartiality.

External Forces & Industry Knowledge

Identifying and incorporating the implications of economic, social, regulatory, geo-political and business changes into the design and delivery of actuarial solutions.


Initiating, innovating, inspiring, creating or otherwise acting to influence others regardless of level or role toward a common goal.

Relationship Management & Interpersonal Collaboration

Creating mutually beneficial relationships and work processes toward a common goal.

Technical Skills & Analytical Problem Solving

Applying the actuarial knowledge, skills and judgment required to provide value-added services.

Strategic Insight & Integration

Anticipating trends and strategically aligning actuarial practice with broader organizational business goals.

Results-Oriented Solutions

Providing effective problem solving that addresses relevant interests and needs.