Where the Puck is Going (and SOA’s Research Activities)

R. Dale Hall, Managing Director of Research

R. Dale Hall, Managing Director of Research, Society of Actuaries

With the NHL playoffs underway, hockey is grabbing attention in the minds of sports fans around the world.  While we didn’t have hockey as an official sport at my high school in northeast Ohio, I was fortunate to join friends from my cross country and track teams to routinely use hockey as a great way to stay in shape over the winter months.

As I’ve started into my new role as Managing Director of Research at the Society of Actuaries, a hockey lesson keeps coming to mind as we describe our growing research vision. Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky would say that “Good hockey players skate to where the puck is.  Great hockey players skate to where the puck is going.” It’s a humbling reminder to many of us in the actuarial profession, where so much of our work time is focused strictly on using the past to understand our current situation.  With our SOA research, however, we’re looking to increase our focus in places where we can provide objective and informative results that help shape the future.

For example, our SOA experience studies area continues to drive important projects, including the updated 2014 Valuation Basic Tables for individual life insurance mortality. We’ve also recently published a report on post-level term lapse and mortality.  Both projects are key to continuing to support the movement by the NAIC towards future principles-based valuation.  We are continuing to increase our feedback and coordination with regulators and key research partners to ensure we are producing research that is valuable to our members and all of our stakeholders.

Similarly, forward looking examples are taking shape in our practice research and in-house research areas at the SOA.  The recently published Delphi Study on the future of the Long Term Care industry and our upcoming research on future expectations of the U.S. single employer and multi-employer retirement systems, will help supply important information as policy makers consider new legislation. We also continue to increase and expand our international research focus by sponsoring and submitting research papers for presentation at conferences, such as Longevity 10 in Chile and the East Asian Actuarial Conference.

It’s been a great first few months moving from industry to the SOA. It is wonderful to meet many of the outstanding volunteers and committee members helping shape our research.  Thanks to all of you who are helping contribute to our forward-looking vision for research. We’re always looking for constructive feedback, so feel free to send us your thoughts at research@soa.org.

Related links:

2014 Valuation Basic Tables for individual life insurance mortality

Delphi Study

East Asian Actuarial Conference


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