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Strategy charts a new course for SOA research

by Steven Siegel, SOA research actuary

Exciting things are happening with Society of Actuaries research!

Our research strategy embodies three approaches: advancing knowledge, expanding boundaries, and intellectual capital research.

Advancing knowledge – Ensures that the SOA continues to broaden and deepen actuarial science and its applications. Examples include research done by academics and others working in the pure science and its application.

Expanding boundaries – Renews, strengthens, refocuses and rethinks the roles that actuarial science and actuaries play. It can include research that supports or expands the boundaries of existing practice, research that promotes the interest of society and research that has a strong public policy aspect. Examples include work related to health care reform legislation.

Intellectual capital Is best defined as common tools used by actuaries. The best example and one that members consistently cite as high value, is experience studies. Other examples include software for calculating incurred but not reported reserves through innovative techniques and advance methodologies for health risk assessment.

These approaches are not mutually exclusive and may been used in combination to help optimize the impact and value of any particular research effort.

In October, the SOA Board authorized a revised research strategy that focused on increasing the amount of expanding boundaries research produced by the SOA.

As part of this strategy, additional funding was approved to support expanding boundaries research in 2012 and 2013. Another of the goals was to encourage the development of more multi-year, multi-stage projects with a broader, deeper focus.

Research Executive Committee
To move this work forward, the Board authorized the establishment of a research oversightcommittee (dubbed the Research Executive Committee) to support the sections, research committees, and other groups actively involved in research, set agendas and budgets, and provide a review of the research function on behalf of the Board.

We are currently in the process of forming the Research Executive Committee. One of its first tasks will be determining how newly available funding will be accessed. In this regard, your thoughts for broader, deeper projects for research for the coming years will be invaluable. What kinds of research would you like to see the SOA conduct? Share your comments below.

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One response to "Strategy charts a new course for SOA research"

  • Mark Birdsall says:

    The experience-reporting requirements for principle-based reserves (PBR) will likely create many new opportunities for experience studies. This may stretch the volunteer resources of the SOA to critical levels. As PBR is developed for additional lines of business, such as annuities and long-term care, the available experience data will continue to increase. Who will be the experts to analyze this vast store of data in multiple lines of business? Perhaps the strategic changes identified are intended to address the greater resources needed to perform a greater number of experience studies using more data than ever before.

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