About SOA Research

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) develops and funds research for a wide array of audiences, from actuaries and the insurance industry to employers and the general public. Through research and education, the SOA works to advance the actuarial profession. View our comprehensive research resources, which includes experience studies, essay collections, webcasts, research papers, survey reports, and original research on topics impacting society.

The SOA aspires to be a trusted source of objective, data-driven research and analysis for our members, the insurance industry, policymakers, and the public. This distinct perspective comes from the SOA as an association of actuaries who have a rigorous formal education and direct experience as practitioners who create applied research.

We have a long history with actuarial research. Experience studies have been an integral part of the SOA. In fact, one of the main reasons for the formation of the SOA was to develop industry experience studies.

Our Experience Studies

The life insurance mortality studies were the first experience studies to be performed. Today our organization completes experience studies for virtually all lines of business sold by life insurance companies along with studies of pension liabilities. We continue to work towards the goal of providing a continuous stream of information from our experience studies in the form of research reports and data to our members.

The experience studies process is made up of these main phases:

  • Study and data request design;
  • Collection of data;
  • Data cleansing and validation;
  • Data analysis and research;
  • Report and database development and publication.

Our Research Projects

Over the years we formalized our research process and funding efforts to help encourage and facilitate basic research work. We also develop research to inform public policy makers on important topics and issues. We work with public policymakers and regulators to develop historical experience studies and projection techniques as well as individual reports on a variety of topics. We welcome the opportunity to partner with other organizations on research projects. We pull from our vast members/volunteers to design studies. We tap into our membership for peer review of research. Here are some of the types of projects:

  • Original research focuses on important topics and issues for our members, the industry, employers and the public. For example, we regularly develop research and analysis on health care, retirement and pension topics.
  • Call for essays are a way to discuss new issues and gather diverse perspectives on topics that can be read in one sitting.
  • Software tools for software testing and new methodological frameworks.
  • Other resources include videos, at-a-glance informational pages, webcasts, and infographics to visualize data.

About Our Research

The SOA aspires to the highest ethical and quality standards in all of its research and analysis. Our research process is overseen by experienced actuaries and non-actuaries from a range of industry sectors and organizations. Our rigorous peer-review process ensures the quality and integrity of our work. We leverage diverse skill sets of actuaries to provide research and findings that are driven by the best available data and methods.

Take a moment to explore our research pages and view a wide variety of SOA research projects by topic.