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First Panel at Nest Insight is the state of the nation

This panel discussion, from the 2018 NEST Insight conference, takes stock of the state of UK retirement policy at the end of staging and explores the policy challenges that might be coming down the road. Data is also presented from the inaugural edition of How the UK Saves: member experience from NEST, a joint publication by NEST Insight and Vanguard that sets out a comprehensive picture of what the administration data from NEST tells us 5+ years in.
Posted on Thursday May 23

Going hybrid in the fight against insurance fraud


The insurance industry is undergoing an exciting metamorphosis. Facing heightened competition from digital disrupters and payments providers, insurers are digitising rapidly. They are adopting new technologies, channels and services in the name of transforming the customer experience. Yet, the parasite grows alongside the host.

Posted on Thursday May 23

Exciting times for actuaries predicted

Pensions are supposed to be boring – public sector pensions even more so. Actuaries are only supposed to get excited very occasionally and when they do, it’s often hard to tell that they are excited. 2019 will no doubt go down in history for many reasons – probably mainly for what didn’t happen rather than what did. It is also of course valuation year in the LGPS in England and Wales, and for lots of reasons the 2019 valuation year has the potential to be one of the most exciting valuation years yet.
Posted on Monday May 20

Harnessing big data to understand members

J.P. Morgan has, in recent years, been increasingly innovative in its use of big data to shape both their customer offer and the broader policy debate. In the second keynote from NEST Insight 2018, Anne Lester discusses some of the work they’ve done, including around understanding better the spending patterns savers exhibit immediately pre- and post-retirement.
Posted on Friday May 17

FCA Business Plan and regulatory priorities and their impact

It is worth remembering that the modern pension market is not just bound by legislation and tax relief. Last week the FCA published its 2019/20 business plan which introduces some fundamental changes to the way in which financial services firms will be run.The regulator’s priorities are laid out in the context of addressing the biggest risks to consumers and split into the big picture issues that affect the industry as a whole, and those which affect specific sectors such as retirement planning.
Posted on Friday May 17

Privacy the biggest issue for tech in 2019

Over the last few months, many of the largest tech platforms have been wrestling with the problems of safe storage and ethical usage of the vast amounts of personal data they hold. Amid rising public concern about the sheer scale of the information these platforms have gathered about us, the tech giants have struggled to prove that they are worthy custodians of such levels of information about us as individuals – how we live our lives, our preferences and goals, and what we think about the big issues of the day.
Posted on Tuesday May 14

Digital opportunities in behavioural econonomics

The first keynote from NEST Insight 2018 was from Shlomo Benartzi. Shlomo has been a leading figure in the application of behavioural insight to retirement savings behaviours over the last 15 years. In this session he focuses on how digital channels and platforms can help us to address future challenges in retirement income adequacy and the research opportunity they present.
Posted on Monday May 13

The Need for Flexicure Retirement Solutions

A major global pension crisis is threatening the sustainability of pension systems across the globe. The first pillar of pension systems, which is made of public social security benefits and aims at providing a universal core of pension coverage to address basic consumption needs in retirement, is strongly impacted by rising demographic imbalances. Pillar 1 pension arrangements are seriously weakening, as most so-called ‘funded systems’ are severely underfunded.
Posted on Thursday May 9

Augmented Underwriting the future of insurance is coming

Niche underwriters have always comforted themselves with the thought that disruption from Big Data, AI and machine learning (buzzwords misused almost as much as blockchain) is only for giant classes of business. The theory is they will be able to hide in their niches, protected from the mayhem and ensuing jobs carnage by the lack of Big Data. They cling to the hope that these classes just aren't big enough to justify the expense of all that data science.
Posted on Tuesday May 7

IFRS 17 delay and the impact on implementation

In this video, Carla Dunne from Deloitte IE discusses the now assumed delay of IFRS 17 to 1 January 2022 and its impact on implementation planning.
Posted on Friday May 3

The new risk on the block

I recently met a group of insurance risk officers and regulatory experts that included many from the banking sector. I think for years many of us have been very mindful of the fact that insurers and banks are different in some profound ways - this is best displayed in the so called “inverted production cycle” of insurers where the business receive cash up front to be paid back at some uncertain point in the future as claims. But this time the conversation got quite animated about the things banks and insurers have in common.
Posted on Friday May 3

Predicting Equity Returns using CAPE

CAPE differs from the normal P/E ratio in that it uses the average (inflation-adjusted) earnings over the last ten years. This ratio is often used to time equity investments, and it’s easy to see why; over the long-term, the negative correlation between the Shiller P/E ratio and subsequent 10 year returns has been 45%. This ratio is often used to time equity investments, and it’s easy to see why.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 30

Trustees can help members get the best options at retirement

Retirement decisions are complex, and it is no doubt easier to communicate a select few choices rather than the full range of alternatives. Yet the freedom and choice reforms of 2015 have given members far more options as to how they spend their pensions than ever before. Focused on doing the right thing for members, and protecting their interests, should trustees provide full details of all the options or should they shy away from those that carry the greatest risks – such as transfers out?
Posted on Friday Apr 26

IFoA Spring Lecture Brexit Democratic Success or Failure

This year's Spring Lecture was delivered by Professor Sir John Curtice. A political scientist who is currently Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde, and Senior Research Fellow at NatCen Social Research, John discusses Brexit.
Posted on Thursday Apr 25

The top challenges to becoming a better actuarial consultant

As the pensions world undergoes dramatic changes, with defined benefit (DB) schemes reaching maturity, the role of the actuarial consultant is changing. Trustees are now expecting actuarial consultants to perform multiple roles, be it business partner, service provider, strategic adviser or outsourced administrator.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 23

Avoiding the pitfalls of GMP equalisation

Five months after the High Court judgment on guaranteed minimum pensions (GMP), companies and trustees are starting to get to grips with the steps needed to meet their new legal obligations. The ruling in the Lloyds Banking Group case means schemes must correct benefits built up in the 1990s to ensure equal treatment between men and women.
Posted on Thursday Apr 18

Statutory right or member safety

The rise of pension scams is a key concern for anyone involved in retirement planning and we naturally want to do all we can to prevent it. On top of the recently introduced cold calling ban and the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign, there have been continued calls for the removal or modification of scheme members’ statutory right to a defined benefit (DB) pension transfer, which would create an extra layer of protection but would also take away a key member option.
Posted on Wednesday Apr 17

Use machine learning to detect insurance claims fraud

Machine learning used to prevent insurance claims fraud? Yes!
How can special machine learning techniques help to detect incoming fraudulent insurance claims? Learn how to pre-process data properly, tune hyperparameters and train your model to detect and prevent insurance fraud.

Posted on Tuesday Apr 16

True Quote or Not True Quote

The ABI’s latest Home Insurance Premium Tracker recently confirmed that home insurance premiums are at an all-time low. That’s good news all round isn’t it? It points to improvements in affordability of insurance for households. However, LexisNexis Risk Solutions research has revealed that despite low premiums across the market, two in three consumers would be happy to manipulate the information they provide when requesting a home insurance quote to cut the cost of their premium further still.
Posted on Monday Apr 15

The Pension Protection Funds Strategic Plan

The PPFs new strategic plan sets out their three year vision and their business plan details their objectives for the next year.
Posted on Thursday Apr 11

Preparation is the key to success for Bulk Annuity

2018 was a bumper year in the bulk annuity market. With over £24 billion of pension scheme liabilities insured, it blew the previous record of £14 billion out of the water. Demand has increased dramatically, and supply seems to be keeping pace for the moment. A further £12 billion of similar business was written between insurers, indicating the potential for further growth in pension scheme transaction volumes, but insurer quotation capacity is a limiting factor.
Posted on Thursday Apr 11

Actuaries are back in vogue

Over the last decades, actuaries have been going out of fashion. In truth, not actuaries per se, but the need for them has been declining and their skillset has become undervalued as the financial sector focused much more on investment products than risk products. Investment managers ruled the sector, as the ongoing closure of defined benefit schemes and the collapse of the annuity market put the idea of pooled risk into cold storage.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 9

Introduction to cost transparency

Pat Sharman of KAS BANK summarises the key points from the PLSA's recent teach-in on cost transparency, outlining what cost transparency is and why it is important.
Posted on Monday Apr 8

The scorpion takes to the water

Valentine’s Day marked the sixth anniversary of the Pension Regulator’s launch of its scorpion campaign and a good opportunity to look back at developments with dealing with pension scams. A year ago, I reflected on the evolving nature of pension scams and hoped that the following 12 months would see more being done to catch up with the new models and methods used by scammers.
Posted on Thursday Apr 4

Patient Capital Made Simple

Roberto Cagnati of Partners Group introduces the PLSA’s new Patient Capital Made Simple guide.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 2
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