The SOA At Work

The SOA at Work

This edition of The SOA at Work highlights two important initiatives. First, we're announcing the release of critical findings from a major SOA study on retirement risks. This report, "Key Findings and Issues: Understanding and Managing the Risks of Retirement," provides important insights into how many retirees—and those for whom retirement is just around the corner—view the risks they're likely to face. The SOA is, of course, an educational and research institution and this report demonstrates the value we can provide. By sponsoring or conducting research on important issues facing the public and for which actuaries have vital insight to offer, the SOA and its members promote the public good. I urge you to look at the Risks of Retirement study and, of course, to let us know of ideas you may have for additional areas of research the SOA should pursue.

This month's column also describes our ongoing shift to more computer–based testing (CBT) for joint SOA/CAS/CIA exams. These three organizations are committed, long term, to moving all preliminary exams to computer–based testing. We're making strong progress by increasing the number of annual offerings for Exam P and adding Exam FM to CBT. Offering our exams in this way provides opportunities for more frequent test administration and makes it much easier for candidates all around the world to take these exams. We are very pleased to continue to develop and offer new CBT opportunities. Again, please let us know of any suggestions you may have for how we can continue to develop and strengthen this important service.

— SOA Executive Director Greg Heidrich

2007 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey Reveals Inflation Risk Key Concern of Retirees

Cost and availability of health care and long–term care, the impact of inflation on savings and investments, outliving one's assets and maintaining a reasonable standard of living are all top concerns of retirees and pre–retirees. These findings are among those highlighted in the recently released Society of Actuaries' "Key Findings and Issues: Understanding and Managing the Risks of Retirement" report. The report, which presents highlights from the 2007 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey and related research material, is now available online at

For retirees living on a fixed income, the longer the period of retirement, the greater impact inflation has on personal savings. Retirees also appear growingly concerned that they might not have enough money to pay for adequate health care. With the costs of health care rising faster than inflation overall and the consequent shifting of costs onto the shoulders of individuals, health care is a key factor in retirees' inflation exposure.

Several other key findings reports related to the 2007 survey are expected to be released later this year. With this series of reports and its Retirement 20/20 initiative, SOA is taking a lead role in addressing retirement issues aimed at re–envisioning retirement for the 21st century.

Computer–Based Testing for Exams Growing

The SOA, CAS and CIA plan to expand to six computer–based Exam P tests in 2009. Five CBTs for Exam P are being held in 2008 and computer–based testing was used for Exam FM in May. Another CBT for Exam FM will be held in November.

Computer–based testing was successfully instituted in 2005 with Exam P. This test method has allowed an increase in exam frequency in response to candidate needs and provided more flexibility in the exam process, both reducing travel time. Computer–based testing offers candidates instant results on exams, makes the exams more secure and reduces downtime so candidates can study sooner for their next sittings.

The SOA, CAS and CIA plan eventually to offer all preliminary exams via CBT. Learn more about exams at

The Actuarial Profession


Orlando Business Journal Interviews FSAs for Article on Aging Workforce

The Journal quoted Anna Rappaport and Valerie Paganelli in this piece on boomer retirement.

Pittsburgh Post–Gazette Features SOA Research

This article mentioned SOA research on life expectancy.

MSN Finance Quotes SOA Statistic in Life Span Article

The column referred to statistics from the SOA Annuity 2000 Mortality Table.

Virginian–Pilot Cites SOA Research

An editorial featured statistics from an SOA study on secondhand smoke.

View all of these articles by visiting and clicking on Actuaries in the News.

2008 SOA Educational Opportunities
September 8–10
Insurance Product Tax Seminar
Washington, D.C.

September 18–19
Individual and Small Group Health Insurance Underwriting Seminar
Chicago, Ill.

September 22–24
Critical Illness Insurance Conference
Las Vegas, Nev.

September 24–26
Disability Income and Long–Term Care Insurers' Forum
Las Vegas, Nev.

September 25–26
Valuation Actuary Symposium
Washington, D.C.

To view the entire list of SOA educational opportunities, visit