In Aesop’s fable ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’, the hare’s natural running speed is undone by his character flaws, while the perseverant tortoise wins the race through dedication and hard work.
This month we celebrate the work of the COVID-19 Actuaries Response Group (ARG), a collective formed at short notice in March 2020 to highlight the dangers posed by the emergence of a novel virus, and which over time has transformed into a leading authority for information about the latest research related to COVID-19, summarised in short weekly bulletins. The working model that evolved allowed the group to react at speed to events, demonstrating that actuaries can provide timely as well as sound analysis, publicly challenging fallacies and misinformed narratives.
ARG’s work has been widely praised, and Matthew Edwards and Stuart McDonald give us a summary of some of its most memorable bulletins on p19. Despite its fast reactions, the group has managed to steer clear of pitfalls, successfully combining the positive attributes of both the traditional actuarial tortoise and the nimbler hare – possibly providing us with a blueprint for the actuary of the future.
Other highlights include an article from Cobus Daneel and Jon Palin on the challenges of producing the latest CMI mortality projections model when faced with the exceptional nature of mortality in 2020 (p16). Thomas Bernhardt and Catherine Donnelly describe their research, funded by the Actuarial Research Centre, on the relative merits of pooled annuity funds and how they could be an attractive alternative to lifetime annuities and income drawdown in providing a retirement income for life (p30).
Finally, the latest in our series of In-depth articles is from Raj Saundh, Alex Davis and Alex Mockridge, who consider what is next for the equity release mortgage market (p26).
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Dan Georgescu, Editor