The SOA at Work

The SOA at Work

The Society's vision is for actuaries to be recognized as the leading professionals in the modeling and management of financial risk and contingent events. To that end, this column will regularly update members on the latest initiatives underway aimed at helping us realize this vision through the SOA strategic plan.

Newly Developed Web Site a Go for First Quarter
In response to member and candidate feedback, the SOA has been diligently working on launching an improved Web site, with plans to unveil the redesigned site late in the first quarter of 2007.

This enhanced Web site should immediately offer users more organized content, more robust search capability and revised graphics that support the re-defined actuary brand. To help create a more user-focused site, we applied state-of-the-art, user-centered design principles used by leading enterprises and identified critical Web users, or personas, to guide our redesign effort.

Identifying and understanding users is driving the architecture of the content that will be featured in our revamped site. The fact that we can see Web site content and functionality through the eyes of these personas allows us to systematically design and implement more satisfying user experiences.

Following the launch, we will be soliciting feedback from members and candidates which will assist us in identifying additional enhancements.

SOA Unveils Online Dues and Events Payment
The SOA is now offering two new, easy–to–use online processes–one for dues and section membership payment, the other for meetings and events registration.

You may pay your dues and your SOA professional interest section memberships–and sign up for new section memberships–right at your computer. For your convenience, you also may sign up for IAA special interest sections at the same time you pay for your SOA membership. Using a credit card, all you have to do is go to and log in. It's easy. Those wishing to continue to pay via mail may do so.

In addition, when you're ready to register for a webcast, seminar, symposium or conference, simply go to and click on "Register for an Event," located in the lower right hand corner of the home page under "Favorite Links." There, you can learn more about various events, register online or print out a registration form to drop in the mail.

We believe these processes will save you time, give you assurance that your dues and section memberships have been paid and allow you to conveniently register for events. These Web site updates are just one more way the SOA is working to create solutions to member, customer and staff needs.

The Actuarial Profession in the News
Features Gebhardtsbauer on PBGC
The Web site interviewed Ron Gebhardtsbauer, FSA, MAAA, for an article on the recent decrease in the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation deficit for single-employer plans. The article, "Pension Agency Funding Deficit Improves," discussed the background of the corporation's previous rising deficit and how improved interest rates, among other reasons, have led to the decrease in the deficit. The piece went on to discuss how thousands of workers are dealing with pension freezes and how the S&P 500 company pensions are faring. Gebhardtsbauer commented on those pensions and how at least one-half are fully funded. Read the column by visiting and clicking on "Buzzworthy."

New York Newsday Highlights SOA Study Results
Newsday's "Health and Science" column featured data from the "Living to 100 and Beyond: Search for Predictors of Exceptional Human Longevity" study, specifically on how firstborn children of women younger than 25 are twice as likely to defy the average life span and go on to live beyond 100. The article went on to give background on the study and the findings, and quoted the researchers on their follow up research as to why firstborn children of women under age 25 may live longer, as well as the long-term implications of the study results. To read the article, go to and click on "Buzzworthy."

Upcoming 2007 SOA Educational Opportunities

March 4-7
ReFocus 2007
Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nev.

March 8-9
Teleunderwriting Seminar
Scottsdale, AZ

March 28-30
Enterprise Risk Management Symposium
Marriott Hotel
Chicago, IL

April 18-20
Investment Actuary Symposium
Sheraton New York
New York, NY

April 23-27
Asset Liability Management
Czech Republic

May 9-11
Life Spring Meeting
JW Marriott Desert Ridge
Phoenix, AZ