Financial Statement Disclosure Report: The Needs and Practices Related to Financial Risk

Research Projects – Life Insurance


There has been a range in practices among life insurance companies regarding the type of financial statement information that is disclosed to the public and the manner in which the information is presented. Such diversity of methods in the industry creates challenges for reviewers of such statements in comprehending a company’s financial position and in comparing it to other companies. This research, sponsored by the Society of Actuaries’ Financial Reporting Section and performed by an Ernst & Young research team led by Robert Frasca, examines the financial statement disclosure practices of 25 major life insurance companies, the extent to which these practices are standardized and the relative value to the investment analyst community. It is hoped that life insurance companies and financial reporting actuaries can use these results to better understand their own company practices and the needs of the investment community as well as to identify possible areas for improvement.

The opinions expressed and conclusions reached by the authors are their own and do not represent any official position or opinion of the Society of Actuaries or its members or Ernst & Young LLP. In addition, the discussion and examples presented in this paper are for educational purposes. They are not to be viewed as an authoritative statement by the Society of Actuaries or Ernst & Young LLP on the quality and/or appropriateness of an individual company’s disclosure practices or an indicator of “better” practice from one company relative to another.

Project Oversight Group

  • Darin Zimmerman, Chair
  • John Brady
  • David Campbell
  • Errol Cramer
  • Stephen Marco
  • Carol Salomone
  • Henry Siegel

If you have any questions or comments on this paper, please contact Robert Frasca, or Ronora Stryker, SOA Research Actuary.