The Value of the IAA to the CCA

September 20, 2023

[Note: A significant portion of this article was contributed by CCA past president Ed Pudlowski. Ed has served on the IAA Strategic Planning Committee and currently serves as the chair of the IAA Health Section. Thanks, Ed!]

With International Actuaries Day falling earlier this month, I want to highlight the CCA’s relationship with the International Actuarial Association (IAA), a partnership that aligns with our mission and vision, and our goal to advance the body of knowledge for the profession. Our involvement in the IAA gives us – and thus you – direct insights into the international issues affecting the various jurisdictions across the globe, expanding upon our perspective from that of a US-based practitioner. The CCA is a Full Member Association (FMA) of the IAA and we derive two types of value from our membership, proactive and reputational.

Proactive Value

Proactive value stems from the direct activities of the IAA and how the CCA can or is leveraging those activities to support our vision and mission. First and foremost, the IAA provides the CCA with a forum to stay abreast of international, actuarial issues (e.g., changes to International Financial Reporting Standards, and reports by the Pandemic Task Force) and this relationship allows us to alert our members on relevant issues.  Communication from the IAA and involvement in the IAA committees, forums, and sections gives the CCA direct access to how actuaries in other countries are addressing these issues.  

The IAA also maintains significant relationships with supranational organizations to: 

  • promote the actuarial profession
  • offer support by way of bringing actuarial credibility to studies and analyses for international public consumption
  • influence these organization on issues of importance to actuaries  
These organizations include (but are not limited to) the:

The CCA’s involvement with the IAA allows us to stay abreast of significant initiatives within these organizations of importance to our members and the opportunity to influence their direction. It also helps progress the CCA’s goals to advance the body of knowledge for the profession by identifying and providing content on emerging issues and to collaborate with stakeholders in the profession.

The CCA has members or observers on IAA committees and forums who provide us with activity updates, with particular attention to issues that may affect you or your employers. Committees engage in activities to promote the actuarial viewpoint on relevant topics at the global level, as well as discussing and exchanging information on those topics. There are currently twelve committees. Forums facilitate discussion and knowledge-sharing among FMAs on issues of international relevance for actuaries on the relevant topics. There are currently four regular forums and five virtual forums.

Other proactive value involves the IAA Sections. While the IAA is an association of associations, the sections operate more like the CCA in that they have relationships with individual actuaries as members who share their interests. IAA Sections include:

  • AFIR-ERM (Financial Risk and ERM);
  • ASTIN (Non-Life Insurance);
  • IAAHS (Health Section);
  • IAALS (Life Section);
  • IACA (International Association of Consulting Actuaries), and;
  • PBSS (Pension, Benefits and Social Security).

CCA member involvement in these sections affords us the ability to promote our members at the international colloquiums (sponsored by these sections and supported by the IAA) and offers the CCA another touch-point in our ability to stay abreast of actuarial issues on the international stage. The CCA currently has members on the boards of the IACA, the IAAHS, and the PBSS.

Additionally, our involvement in the IAA assures that the purpose of the IAA doesn’t conflict with the CCA or diminish our significance as an organization. As an example, in the past the IAA has made attempts to mandate international actuarial standards as the defining standard for all actuarial organizations globally. This would have, at the very least, created conflict with U.S. actuarial standards placing our members at risk of a requirement to adhere to multiple standards of practice whether the CCA participating and a member organization or not. As a member of the IAA, the CCA was afforded the opportunity to opine on this issue of importance to our members and influence the final decision to make the IAA Actuarial Standards a guideline for member organizations rather than the standard for all organizations. Without an IAA membership, the CCA would not have had a voice on this important issue.

Our involvement with the IAA also provides opportunities to identify best practices in the management of an actuarial professional association. The IAA meetings offer numerous opportunities to interact with leaders of more than 100 of the actuarial associations covering various jurisdictions across the globe.  Open discussion around best practices often occurs since these organizations (other than perhaps the U.S.-based organizations) do not see the CCA as a competitor. These meetings (along with North American Actuarial Council or NAAC) help us stay abreast of what is transpiring within the U.S.-based actuarial associations.

Reputational Value

Finally, from a reputational perspective, the CCA benefits from being recognized on the international actuarial stage. As a Full Member Association and one of the larger association members, the CCA is recognized among other member organizations. We are viewed as a well-run professional society to whom the smaller organizations look to for guidance and expertise. This supports our goal to increase awareness of the CCA’s value with employers, clients, and other stakeholders to which our members belong and serve.

On the flipside, if the CCA were not involved with the IAA, our absence might affect how other organizations, and their influential members, perceive the CCA. Such a change might work to the disadvantage of our members. While the reputational benefits of being a member of the IAA are not the sole reasons for our involvement, they are important factors.