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Betting your pension

The move by the government to reduce the shocking social side effects of fixed-odds betting terminals, mainly based in bookmakers’ shops, was welcomed by many in the UK as a good start in dealing with the issues that can arise from addiction to these machines. Under the new law due to come into effect in 2019, the maximum stake will be reduced to £2, thereby requiring 50 losing spins to lose what could have been lost before on a single spin.
Posted on Wednesday Dec 19

Cascading pension death benefits without the probate wait

Tucked away in the 2018 Autumn Budget, you’d be forgiven for missing the relatively unnoticed amendment to probate fees. We’ve covered the most pressing matters for clients on the treatment of pension death benefits. Currently there is a flat probate fee of £215 where the estate value exceeds £5,000 (and a solicitor is not used). However, the Budget applies a tiered structure from 6 April 2019.
Posted on Monday Dec 17

IFoA explain the new PPD regime

IFoA Education department explain the new PPD regime
Posted on Friday Dec 14

Time to find out the real price of your pricing

Just a couple of months ago I discussed the shift in conduct regulation towards price intervention and its potential impact on insurance firms. A few weeks later the Citizens Advice Bureau launched its super complaint on a number of markets including motor insurance and the Financial Conduct Authority followed by launching the Motor and Household market study on pricing practices. The FCA is keeping insurers truly busy, but how concerned should insurers be and more importantly what could they do to manage these risks?
Posted on Friday Dec 14

How much is in your pension

First up – a quiz question. According to Aviva’s ‘Savers vs Spenders’ report, where in the UK are people most likely to identify as a saver? I’ll reveal the answer at the end of the article. Now, this is going to sound like the introduction to a cliched speech, but the Oxford Dictionary definition of an actuary is a ‘person who compiles and analyses statistics and uses them to calculate insurance risks and premiums’.
Posted on Tuesday Dec 11

IFoA Education Team explain Curriculum 2019

The IFoA Education team explain how the new curriculum will affect your employees and why these changes have taken place.
Posted on Monday Dec 10

The actuarial small print

“Your statutory rights are unaffected”, “subject to approval”, “terms and conditions apply.” There is plenty of small print in our lives; some of it we cheerfully ignore, and some of it we gloss over with no idea of whether it’s important. Do you really know what protection is offered by ATOL? Why is a service charge not the same as a tip? Who ever retains the packaging for future reference? In our actuarial work there is one phrase you will see again and again:
Posted on Thursday Dec 6

The 2018 Purple Book

In this edition of the Purple Book, we point to significant risks in the defined benefit (DB) pension universe, despite an increase in the aggregate funding level in DB schemes in the last financial year (March 2017-March 2018).
Posted on Tuesday Dec 4

The Winners of the Actuarial Post Awards 2018

Welcome to our main Awards issue for 2018. Once again, a big thank you to all of our readers for your thousands of nominations and votes, making this year the most voted awards since we began in 2011. We need to congratulate all of our winners as the voting in every category was extremely close. We also need to thank our sponsors Aon Remetrica for their sponsorship of Actuary of the Year and Bolton Associates who sponsored the GI Actuary of the Year.
Posted on Monday Dec 3

And finally robot pets

The use of robots in Japanese care homes has featured a lot lately in the last segment of the news – the light-hearted piece that is scheduled in order to finish the news broadcast on a pleasanter note, following the bad news items that have gone before. These segments generally focus on the ability of automated robots to interact with elderly people and perform simple tasks such as fetching a glass of water or switching off a light. The topic is dealt with as an amusing item to amaze and entertain people.
Posted on Thursday Nov 29

CJEU rules PPF compensation is inadequate

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in September 2018 that the current level of compensation payable by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) does not meet the requirements of EU law. Although it is not yet clear how this will be applied in the UK, this judgement has potentially significant consequences for both the PPF and for some pension schemes.
Posted on Tuesday Nov 27

PwC insights into IFRS 17 for Reinsurance

Accounting for reinsurance is a significant change under IFRS 17. Our experts Gail Tucker and Don Seto provide you with a descriptive video summarising accounting for reinsurance contracts held.
Posted on Monday Nov 26

Survival of the fattist

It’s only natural for any company to seek competitive advantage, and for insurers this is no different. What if your firm could attract more customers and higher annual premiums, but pay less out in claims? Surely you’d do it? The good news for insurers is that this is already possible. Consumers who previously were put off from protection insurance by intrusive health and lifestyle questionnaires are now giving their personal data away to wearable device and mobile phone fitness apps such as FitBit and Strava.
Posted on Friday Nov 23

DB transfers and contingent charging

The FCA’s long-awaited statement on Defined Benefits (DB) transfer advice, Policy Statement 18/20, was published earlier this month and confirmed that they will go ahead with most of their proposals from the earlier Consultation Paper (CP18/7). There was however once issue that was kicked further down the road – the issue of contingent charging.
Posted on Tuesday Nov 20

In investment how do we define long term

Video from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries Autumn Lecture 2018
Posted on Monday Nov 19

Illiquid assets and the PRA

A few weeks ago, I came very close to witnessing a drink thrown in someone’s face. The matter instigating the drama? Not a lovers’ spat, or a sinister betrayal. Not even the lack of canapés. No, the issue causing all the noise was insurance regulation. As an ex-regulator, this was especially thrilling for me. Most regulators understand their work is important but suspect that the industry does not feel the same way.
Posted on Thursday Nov 15

Cyber Operational Risk Scenarios for Insurance Companies

Louise illiamson, Director from Willis Towers Watson and on the Risk management Board at the IFoA introduces a video on Cyber Operational Risk Scenarios for insurance companies featuring Rory Egan from Munich Re, Vanessa Jaeger from Aon and Ramiz Mohamed from Hiscox
Posted on Monday Nov 12

Insurers who prioritise digital transformation grow faster

The World Economic Forum has stated “the greatest impact of disruption [in the financial services industry] is likely to be felt in the insurance sector”. Technological advancements in Insurance across areas such as automation, machine learning and data analytics are redefining business models and risk management capabilities, and the organisations embracing them are gaining a substantial competitive advantage.
Posted on Monday Nov 12

Personal insurance pricing where will the new normal be

The UK regulator has just announced a major review of retail insurance pricing. This suggests a significant change to the rules of the game in pricing – with particular focus on the new / renewal price gap. What does this mean for UK insurers and brokers?
Posted on Friday Nov 9

Sharp bend in the road of trust in car insurance providers

Compared with five years ago, motorists today are far less comfortable for their full claims history to be used in pricing and most policyholders withhold details of non-claim incidents. How can the industry rebuild trust around pricing, despite significant investment in improvements to the motor insurance application and quotation process over the last 5 years.
Posted on Thursday Nov 8

Improving the success of InsurTech opportunities

A video from the IFoA on improving the success of InsurTech opportunities
Posted on Tuesday Nov 6

The bridges between conduct and prudential regulation

As an insurance regulatory specialist I used to identify squarely with the prudential camp and I have to admit to being a bit dismissive of conduct matters - too many words and not enough numbers for my taste. But today, I would feel confident asking any chief actuary whether they are aware of the FCA’s risk of harm approach, if they know who their vulnerables customers are, how the use of ‘Big Data’ fits in to that picture and what their view is on price discrimination within underwriting and pricing.
Posted on Tuesday Nov 6

Being ScamSmart

Pension scams are on main screen TV. As part of its stated aim to protect consumers against the actions of the unscrupulous, a 30 second advert “Don’t let a scammer enjoy your retirement” puts the reality of losing life savings into a visual context. This is good stuff. Public warnings need to be high profile and they must come from trusted independent bodies such as the industry regulator.
Posted on Thursday Nov 1

Currency overlay Why and how

Amy Middleton of Mesirow Financial summarises the recent PLSA teach-in on the potential impact of currency risk in a pension scheme's portfolio and how to mitigate it.
Posted on Tuesday Oct 30

Looking forward to Spring

As we move into autumn my thoughts are already turning to Spring next year when minimum automatic enrolment (AE) pension contributions increase for many of the 9.9 million employees enrolled over the past six years. Currently, minimum contributions are set at 5% of earnings (from employer and employee), but next April that will rise to 8%.
Posted on Tuesday Oct 30
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