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About the IAA

Actuaries & The IAA

WHAT IS AN ACTUARY?
Actuaries are highly qualified professionals who analyze the financial impact of risk for organizations like insurers; pensions fund managers, and more. Governed by rigorous standards of practice, they apply their mathematical expertise to forecast and minimize financial uncertainty. Please click here to find out more on the role of the actuary.

WHAT DOES AN ACTUARY DO?
Actuaries design and develop ways in which to manage risk. This requires a combination of strong analytical skills, business knowledge, and understanding of human behaviour to manage the complex risks facing our society. Please click here to find out more.

Actuaries:

  • Evaluate the likelihood of future events;
  • Design creative ways to reduce the likelihood of undesirable events;
  • Decrease the impact of undesirable events that do occur;
  • Assist in the scientific analysis and quantification of risks;
  • Measure, manage, and mitigate risks;
  • Establish premiums, policy and claim liabilities, and appropriate capital levels;
  • Assess financial security systems;
  • Evaluate pension plan liabilities; and
  • Determine the level of contributions required to finance pension, health care, and social insurance programs.

WHO NEEDS AN ACTUARY?
Many companies, organizations and agencies employ actuaries. The Value Proposition Paper provides information to those who are unfamiliar with the work of actuaries. For a list of those who benefit from the expert knowledge of actuaries, click here.

  • Banks;
  • Life insurance companies;
  • Property and casualty insurance companies;
  • Employee benefit consulting firms;
  • Universities-teaching actuarial studies and undertaking research;
  • Government agencies;
  • Organizations that have oversight roles;
  • Other financial institutions; and
  • The public, and customers and users of all of the above.

HOW DO I BECOME AN ACTUARY?
The requirements to become an actuary will vary from country to country. If you have a strong mathematical capability and wish to enter the actuarial profession, you can follow the steps below:

Step 1—Training.
In some countries academic institutions offer actuarial science programs, but if this is not the case in your country, mathematics, statistics, economics, business and finance degrees are all good training for an actuarial career. Actuaries come from a variety of educational backgrounds as they have degrees in areas such as operations research, physics, engineering, and even fine arts. You should contact your local actuarial association to find out more.

If there is no actuarial association in your country, contact another actuarial association from your region.

Step 2—Find a trainee actuary role
Join an actuarial firm and develop your skills while you qualify. There is no age limit for joining the profession. If you are interested in changing from another career or profession, you may want to undertake one or two of the actuarial examinations independently to assess your skills. Your experience in your current career may be valuable to an actuarial firm, and you may wish to contact actuarial employers directly to discuss your potential.

Step 3—Work towards becoming a fully qualified actuary
To become a fully qualified actuary you must pass a series of exams usually available online from the major actuarial societies or associations. In some countries, it may be possible to qualify by obtaining a satisfactory level of work-based skills. To find out more about the procedure that actuaries in your country or region follow, it would be recommended to contact your local actuarial association.

Step 4—Enjoy a career often rated #1 in the world!
Within the actuarial profession there are many different and exciting career paths, and once you are qualified, your skills can help you find work in many different areas. Some actuaries specialize in technical research, while others may focus more on commercial activities. Some go on to be practising specialists in one of the traditional financial fields, with others becoming senior managers in insurance companies or firms of consultants.

Click here for more details on becoming an actuary, and here for a list of universities offering courses.

HOW CAN THE IAA ASSIST YOU?
The IAA, through its Advice and Assistance Committee (A&A), can help to increase awareness and recognition of the profession in actuarially developing countries, and to assist newly established local associations to promote the role of actuaries. We also support the development, organization and promotion of the actuarial profession and actuarial education in areas of the world in which the actuarial profession is not present or is not fully developed.

Any actuary or group of actuaries interested in establishing an association in their country or region can contact us to request assistance in establishing an association with the intent of becoming an IAA member. The IAA can assist you by providing you with templates of documents required for membership and by contacting people from its member associations that have recently been formed and have circumstances similar to yours. This will allow you to share experiences and best practices.

We can assist in the following ways:

  • Organizing and conducting selected activities intended to support the development of the actuarial profession and actuarial education in actuarially developing countries, through the IAA Fund and regional subcommittees of A&A.
  • Connecting you with actuarial associations, actuaries and others interested in the development of the actuarial profession and actuarial education in actuarially developing countries.
  • Providing advice and assistance, when requested, to associations seeking to become members of the IAA, to those wishing to establish new associations or to strengthen existing associations, and to current members.
  • Liaising with local and regional regulators, development agencies, local actuaries, local actuarial associations and other relevant parties in order to increase awareness of the actuarial profession.
  • Facilitating the progress of newly established associations towards becoming Full Member Associations of the IAA.

To see the terms of reference of the Advice and Assistance Committee, please click here.

HOW CAN I BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE IAA?
The IAA is an association whose membership is composed of actuarial associations from different countries of the world. The IAA represents more than 60,000 actuaries worldwide. You can engage with the IAA at different levels:

  • Belong to a member association

Actively participate in the work of the various committees as a committee member appointed by your association. Associations interested in becoming Associate Members and Full Members can engage in various IAA activities to develop the profession in their country or region. Please see the list of Associate and Full Member associations.

  • Volunteer with the Actuaries Without Borders (AWB) Section

AWB promotes the public good globally, focusing on countries that lack the actuarial resources needed to create productive, sustainable, and stable markets for insurance and other risk mitigation, and the means to develop the actuarial profession. In joining the Section, you will be supporting the IAA strategic objective to support the development, organization and promotion of the actuarial profession in areas of the world in which it is not present or is not fully developed.

  • Join the Actuarial Educators Network (AEN)

The AEN provides resources for, and facilitates communication, about actuarial education. The network is open to anyone involved in actuarial teaching, and research, working towards the development and improvement of actuarial education throughout the world.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IAA MEMBERSHIP?
Becoming a member association of the IAA has numerous benefits; these will differ depending on the class of membership. In joining, you will also be able to exchange information and learn from experienced actuaries and from associations that have overcome issues similar to the ones that your association might be facing. To read about the benefits and requirements, please click here.

HOW DOES MY ASSOCIATION BECOME A MEMBER?
Requirements will differ whether you are applying for associate or full membership. We invite you to review our membership page to find more information about requirements and benefits you receive in the different classes of membership.

SHARING BEST PRACTICES
The IAA website offers a detailed list of its Associate and Full Member associations. If you require advice and/or assistance from other member associations, you can view case studies of the experiences of some associations, or you can contact us on the e-mail address below.

HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION?
Contact us via secretariat@actuaries.org for information on how we can help you.