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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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ACA elects new chairman

The Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) has elected Ian Farr as its new chairman. He is one of Watson Wyatt’s most experienced and senior actuaries and is scheme actuary to a number of pension plans including some of the largest in the UK. He takes office on 1 June 2006 and succeeds Adrian Waddingham.

Commenting on his election, Ian Farr said:

‘For employers and pension scheme trustees, the period ahead looks to be extremely testing in terms of pension challenges, not least with the latest government-led reforms following on from the Pensions Commission report, which we expect to see later this month.

‘The ACA has been seriously concerned at the public policy decisions made over the last two decades that have so undermined workplace provision – which is now in serious decline. This is deeply troubling in terms of the fragile pension outcomes for millions of our citizens in the years ahead. My and the ACA’s challenge will be to do as much as we can to ensure the next set of reforms encourage the promotion of workplace plans that are better than minimum default standards. In particular, we will be looking for legal changes and for simplifications, as well as incentives, that will allow employers to think positively about offering risk-sharing schemes and good workplace schemes generally.

‘Prior to publishing the Pension Commission report, Lord Turner had challenged actuaries to bring forward risk-sharing designs for pension schemes, as money purchase arrangements leave their members shouldering 100% of the investment and longevity risk – which is not suitable for those on lower incomes. ACA feels that it has risen to this challenge through its representations to government, despite a deafening silence from the Pensions Commission. We look to government for legislative changes to remove restrictions so as to allow employers to transform an existing money purchase arrangement into a risk-sharing scheme. In this way, the employer can have much more control of the cost than with a traditional final salary plan and the employee is less exposed to the vagaries of financial markets.’