FSA Changes

Beginning in Late 2018

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is pleased to announce some exciting updates to the exams and modules on Fellowship-level tracks. Given the upcoming changes to the ASA requirements, FSA track learning objectives are being restructured to optimize learning and build on the enhanced ASA pathway. The current exam track structure of two 5-hour exams and one 2-hour exam (with an option to use the 4-hour ERM exam and also earn a CERA) will be retained.

The revised/new exams and modules will be released sequentially, beginning in late 2018 and continuing through 2021. This website includes an overview of the changes along with transition rules and the recommended order for each track. No changes are currently planned for the General Insurance track.

Notes regarding the overviews to the FSA tracks:

  • When a track overview comments that “no changes” will be made, this does not mean that annual updates to learning objectives and readings will not continue as usual. In some cases the adjustment will be more than usual. However, it does mean that for the foreseeable future the exam or module name and general goals will not be changing.
  • For modules, an anticipated release month is provided in most cases. Because the development of an e-Learning module is time-consuming and labor-intensive, these estimates may change as we get closer to release. However, we expect to give six month’s advance notice of each actual release date.
 

Learn about the changes to the FSA curriculum. Select a track below for details.

Corporate Finance and ERM (CFE) Track Restructuring

No changes will be made to the CFE track exams. The following modules will be created and/or revised for the CFE track:

  • Business Case Assessments Module: Anticipated release month will be announced in the first quarter of 2018
    This is a new module with a focus on the case study approach to explore business case principles from start-up through to maturity.
  • Advanced Topics in CFE Module: Anticipated release month December 2019
    This module will be significantly updated to align with the other track material.

Transition Rules

Registration for the Financial Reporting Module will end on June 30, 2020. However, once the Business Case Assessments Module is released, candidates are encouraged to take it rather than the Financial Reporting Module. Registration for the current Advanced Topics in CFE Module will end when the revised module is released.

Candidates may meet the track requirements with any two of the following three items:

  • Financial Reporting Module
  • Current or Revised Advanced Topics in CFE Module
  • Business Case Assessments Module

Candidates are encouraged to use the two new modules, when available.

Recommended Order

The recommended order after the new Business Case Assessments Module is released will be as follows.

  • Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Module
  • ERM Exam
  • Business Case Assessments Module
  • Foundations of CFE Exam
  • Strategic Decision Making Exam
  • Advanced Topics in CFE Module

 

Quantitative Finance and Investment (QFI) Track Restructuring

Topic coverage will be restructured among the three QFI exams, which will receive new names. A new Scenario Modeling Module will replace the Financial Reporting Module and the Financial Modeling Module will be revised.

Module Changes and Transition Rules

The following modules will be created and/or revised for the QFI track:

  • Financial Modeling Module: Anticipated release month December 2019
    This module will be revised to cover additional quantitative modeling techniques.
  • Scenario Modeling Module: Anticipated release month June 2020
    This will be a new module that replaces the Financial Reporting Module.

Registration for the Financial Reporting Module will end on June 30, 2020. Registration for the current Financial Modeling Module will end when the revised module is released.

Candidates may meet the track requirements with any two of the following three items:

  • Financial Reporting Module
  • Current or Revised Financial Modeling Module
  • Scenario Modeling Module

Candidates are encouraged to use the two new modules, when available.

Exam Changes and Transition Rules

Topic coverage will be restructured among the three QFI exams and some exam names changed. Those with credits for the current exam will receive credit for the corresponding revised exam.

Current Exams Revised Exams First Administration of Revised Exam
QFI Core Exam (5-hr) QFI-Quantitative Finance Exam (5-hr) Spring 2019
QFI Advanced Exam (5-hr) QFI-Portfolio Management Exam (5-hr) Fall 2019
QFI-Investment Risk Management Exam (2-hr) QFI-Investment Risk Management Exam (2-hr) Spring 2019
 

Recommended Order

The recommended order for completing the QFI track components will also change slightly. The new recommended order after the transition period will be as follows.

  • Enterprise Risk Management Module*
  • Financial Modeling Module
  • Scenario Modeling Module
  • Quantitative Finance Exam
  • Portfolio Management Exam
  • Investment Risk Management Exam

*May be taken anytime, but should be before the Investment Risk Management Exam.


 

Individual Life and Annuities (ILA) Track Restructuring

Changes to the ILA track will be made to the three exams, which will receive new names. A new Introduction to ILA module will replace the Financial Economics module.

Module Changes and Transition Rules

The following new module will be created for the ILA track:

  • Introduction to ILA Module: Anticipated release month June 2019

After the Introduction to ILA Module is released, the Financial Economics Module will no longer be a requirement of the ILA track.

Candidates who successfully complete the current module requirements (ERM, Regulation and Taxation, Financial Economics, and DMAC) will have met the ILA track module requirements. Once the Introduction to ILA Module is released, it is recommended that candidates take the new module instead of the Financial Economics [1]Module.

Exam Changes and Transition Rules

Topic coverage will be restructured among the three ILA exams and exam names changed. Candidates with credit for any of the current exams will be given transition credit for the corresponding revised exam.

Current Exams Revised Exams First Administration of Revised Exam
ILA Life Pricing Exam (5-hr) ILA Product Management Exam (5-hr) Fall 2019
ILA Life Finance and Valuation Exam (5-hr) Canada and U.S. versions ILA Financial Management Exam (5-hr) Canada and U.S. versions Spring 2020
ILA Life Risk Management Exam (2-hr) ILA ALM and Modeling Exam (2-hr) Fall 2019
 

Recommended Order

  • Modules should be completed in advance of the FSA Exams
  • ILA Fellowship Exams should be taken in the following order:
    • ILA Product Management Exam
    • ILA Financial Management Exam
    • ILA ALM and Modeling Exam
 

[1] The deadline to register for the Financial Economics Module and still use it to receive transition credit for the new Introduction to ILA Module is June 30, 2020.


Retirement Benefits Track Restructuring

No changes will be made to the Retirement Benefits track exams. There will be one module change.

Module Changes

The following new module will be created for the Retirement track:

  • Pension Projections Module: Anticipated release month June 2020

After the revised Pension Projections Module is released, the Financial Economics Module will no longer be a requirement of the Retirement Benefits track.

Exam Changes

Beginning with the November 2020 administration, the Retirement track exam syllabi will be revised to reflect adjustments to the ASA syllabus and the new Pension Projections Module, but the changes are not significant enough to require any exam name changes.

Transition Rules

Candidates who successfully complete the current module requirements (ERM, Financial Economics, Social Insurance and DMAC) will have met the Retirement Benefits track module requirements. Once the Pension Projections Module is released, it is recommended that candidates take the new module instead of the Financial Economics [2]Module.

Recommended Order

The recommended order for completing the Retirement track components will also change slightly. The new recommended order after the new Pension Projections Module is released will be as follows.

  • Social Insurance Module
  • Funding and Regulation Exam (Canada)/Enrolled Actuary Exams (US)
  • Design and Accounting Exam (Canada/US)
  • Enterprise Risk Management Module
  • Pension Projections Module
  • Investment and Risk Management Exam
 

[2] The deadline to register for the Financial Economics Module and still use it to receive transition credit for the new Pension Projections Module is June 30, 2020.


 

Group and Health Track Restructuring

Changes to the Group and Health track will be made to the two 5-hour exams and a new Health Economics module will replace the Financial Economics module.

Module Changes

The following module will be created for the Group and Health track:

  • Health Economics Module: Anticipated release month December 2018

After the revised Health Economics Module is released, the Financial Economics Module will no longer be a requirement of the Group and Health track. Candidates currently have the option of replacing the Health Foundations Module with the ERM Module. The new requirements will have that option apply to the Pricing, Reserving and Forecasting Module.

Exam Changes

The revised examinations will be given for the first time in fall 2019. The two current five-hour exams, Group and Health Core (C) and Group and Health Advanced (A) will be replaced by two new exams, Design & Pricing (DP) and Finance & Valuation (FV). To aid in the transition, for four exam sessions (ending with the spring 2021 administration) the new exams will be offered in segments:

DP will be divided in to two segments as follows:

  • DP-C (two hours)
  • DP-A (three hours)

FV will be divided in to two segments as follows:

  • FV-C (three hours)
  • FV-A (two hours)

Transition Rules

Modules:

Candidates who successfully complete the current module requirements (Financial Economics, Health Foundations, Pricing, Reserving and Forecasting, and DMAC) will have met the Group and Health track module requirements. Once the Health Economics Module is released, it is recommended that candidates take the new module instead of the Financial Economics [3]Module.

Candidates registering prior to June 30, 2020 will be allowed to replace either the Health Foundations or the Pricing, Reserving and Forecasting (PRF) Module with the ERM Module. After that date, candidates must complete the Health Foundations Module and may replace PRF with ERM.

Exams:

Candidates will enter the fall 2019 session in one of four situations. Each is described below.

Have passed both C and A

Such candidates will receive transition credit for both DP and FV.

Have passed neither C nor A

Such candidates must now pass both DP and FV. Although these exams are offered in segments, these candidates must register for the full exam each time. They also pass or fail the full exam.

Have passed C but not A

Such candidates receive temporary transition credit for DP-C and FV-C. At their next exam sitting they must register for both DP-A and FV-A. There are four possible outcomes and consequences:

  1. The total score on the two parts is deemed sufficient to pass this as a full exam. The candidate receives credit for both segments and has now completed both the DP and FV requirements in full.
  2. The total score on the two parts is deemed insufficient to pass this as a full exam. However, the score on DP-A is sufficiently high that credit for this part is awarded. The candidate has now completed the DP requirement in full. For the remaining transition sessions, the candidate need only register for FV-A.
  3. The total score on the two parts is deemed insufficient to pass this as a full exam. However, the score on FV-A is sufficiently high that credit for this part is awarded. The candidate has now completed the FV requirement in full. For the remaining transition sessions, the candidate need only register for DP-A.
  4. Both the total score and the individual scores are insufficient to award any credit. For the next session, the candidate must register for both DP-A and FV-A.

At the end of the two-year transition period, candidates who have received no further credits toward the two new exams must now take exams DP and FV in full. Any partial transition credit will be lost. Candidates who earned only DP-A credit must now take exam FV in full and candidates who earned only FV-A credit must now take exam DP in full.

Have passed A but not C

Such candidates receive temporary transition credit for DP-A and FV-A. At their next exam sitting they must register for both DP-C and FV-C. There are four possible outcomes and consequences:

  1. The total score on the two parts is deemed sufficient to pass this as a full exam. The candidate receives credit for both segments and has now completed both the DP and FV requirements in full.
  2. The total score on the two parts is deemed insufficient to pass this as a full exam. However, the score on DP-C is sufficiently high that credit for this part is awarded. The candidate has now completed the DP requirement in full. For the remaining transition sessions, the candidate need only register for FV-C.
  3. The total score on the two parts is deemed insufficient to pass this as a full exam. However, the score on FV-C is sufficiently high that credit for this part is awarded. The candidate has now completed the FV requirement in full. For the remaining transition sessions, the candidate need only register for DP-C.
  4. Both the total score and the individual scores are insufficient to award any credit. For the next session, the candidate must register for both DP-C and FV-C.

At the end of the two-year transition period, candidates who have received no further credits toward the two new exams must now take exams DP and FV in full. Any partial transition credit will be lost. Candidates who earned only DP-C credit must now take exam FV in full and candidates who earned only FV-C credit must now take exam DP in full.

Recommended Order

The recommended order for completing the Group and Health track components will also change slightly. The new recommended order after the transition period will be as follows.

  • Health Economics Module
  • Health Foundations Module
  • Design and Pricing Exam
  • Finance and Valuation Exam
  • Group and Health Specialty Exam
  • Pricing, Reserving and Forecasting Module or ERM Module*

*If electing the ERM Module, may be taken at any time.



[3] The deadline to register for the Financial Economics Module and still use it to receive transition credit for the new Health Economics Module is June 30, 2020.