COVID 19 Update for SOA Members and Candidates
Dear Members and Candidates
With the constantly evolving COVID-19 Coronavirus situation, I wanted to provide you with an update on the measures the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is taking to ensure the safety of our staff, members, and candidates. While the COVID-19 emergency is far from a “business as usual” situation, we are doing everything we can to maintain continuity in the delivery of our education and professional development offerings and developing alternative solutions to continue to deliver value to our stakeholders.
Below you will find details on how we are approaching this situation at this moment. While things may change over the coming days and weeks, please know that our decisions are being guided by the best interests of our committed staff and volunteers, members, and candidates who have been working very hard in preparation for their exams. We will continue to keep you updated through our COVID-19 website.
Staff and Volunteers
To protect the health and well-being of staff, the SOA will operate on a virtual basis until March 27. Staff are now working from home, but their service to the SOA and our stakeholders will continue unimpeded. Rest assured, we are not suspending or closing operations. We will continue to serve you and conduct our business on a remote basis with the necessary technology tools to remain fully functional and accessible.
Volunteers are critical to the SOA and we are concerned as well about their health and well-being. We are now shifting their meetings in the near term to virtual events with no travel required or possible. We are assessing those events or meetings which are more distant in the future and will make decisions well in advance to allow appropriate planning by all.
The SOA is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure the safety of attendees and presenters at all our events. We have not yet made decisions to cancel or delay the SOA’s spring meetings in the United States, which begin occurring in early May and June. However, we are actively assessing the situation and expect to make decisions in the coming days or weeks with ample advance notice for members and attendees to adjust their plans. We are closely monitoring the guidance of governmental and public health authorities and will inform our members as soon as decisions are made. In the event we need to cancel an event, we expect to provide virtual alternatives for members to gain valuable professional development and continuing education. For those who have registered for one of our events that is ultimately cancelled, registration fees will be refunded or applied to virtual offerings (at the member’s choice).
We have already postponed the 2020 SOA China Symposium and Asia-Pacific Symposium until later in the year. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated as we set new dates for these conferences. In the interim, we are preparing a series of virtual professional development offerings to assist our members in continuing to gain valuable CPD credits and we expect to offer many more such opportunities in the coming weeks. We are also working with our Research Department to provide more information and tools from our library of research activities and reports that may be helpful to you in your ongoing work. For example, we are holding a series of webinars in partnership with the China Association of Actuaries. The first seminar, held just today, on “The Impact of the COVID-19 on the Life Insurance Industry and Insights on Valuation," was well attended and the feedback from participants is telling us there is great member value in developing these virtual offerings.
Registration for SOA spring 2020 examinations remains open. We are closely assessing the situation we face and will be making decisions about the exams by the end of March. As with our meetings, if candidates have registered for an exam and are unable to sit due to COVID 19 (or we have decided to delay the exam sitting) all registration fees will be refunded or applied to the next exam sitting of the candidate’s choice. We are also assessing whether we will be able to hold currently-scheduled FACs and will inform candidates of those decisions as well.
Candidates in mainland China scheduled for CBT (computer-based testing) exams now through March 31 can reschedule or cancel their exams with no penalty.
We are taking this situation seriously, and are monitoring its evolution very closely, alongside all of our partners. I will be sharing additional communications with you directly in the coming days. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the SOA Customer Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, or concerns.
Andrew D. Rallis, FSA, MAAA
Society of Actuaries