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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Letters: Louise Pryor

In his article on changes to the employer debt regulations in last month’s magazine, Clive Weber (The Actuary, June 2008) says that “actuaries will be helped ... by professional guidance from the BAS.” He goes on to suggest that standards would provide legal protection to actuaries. Actuaries may well find our standards helpful, but we have made it clear, notably in the Exposure Drafts of our Conceptual Framework and Scope and Authority, that the BAS will not be issuing guidance (our standards will be mandatory) and that our primary goal is to serve the users of actuarial information, rather than to assist actuaries, or to stop them from being sued.

As Clive observes, the BAS is not currently planning to issue a standard on preparing an updated actuarial assessment. Actuaries should be quite capable of performing a roll-forward calculation covering a maximum period of two years, just as they are presumably already competent to perform FRS17 updates. Any that are not capable would, of course, refuse to act in matters outside their area of competence.

Clive notes that specific advice should always be sought for individual cases. I see no reason why this should not apply to actuarial advice on roll-forward calculations, as well as to legal advice. Surely actuaries are no less professional than solicitors!

Louise Pryor
Director, Board for Actuarial Standards

10 June 2008