Welcome to the November issue of The Actuary. This month I interview Sid Malik about the non-traditional role of the actuary as a regulator in a central bank (p13), as part of the magazine’s support for actuaries considering wider fields and developing the skills they might need for successful careers in a changing world.
The in-depth article showcases cutting edge work in applying statistical learning to mortality modelling, which starts with a useful refresher on age-period-cohort models (p20). Feedback on the in-depth articles that we have been trialling has been that readers either like them very much or find them too technical. I can understand that split and, while my view is that the magazine needs to cater for all readers – both those at the cutting edge of modelling and those of a more generalist bent – I hope you have found the series an enjoyable opportunity to see what the magazine can do to support continuing professional development.
The November issue has a pensions theme, including a contribution from Oliver Warren and Mark Irwin about variable defined contribution pensions; while not currently available in the UK, these offer an alternative to the traditional annuity (p24).
Aled Jones writes about the ‘butterfly defect’ and new systemic risks generated by globalisation, biodiversity loss and climate change, causing localised shocks that transmit easily through an interconnected and increasingly resource-depleted planet (p38). This is a timely article, with COP26 parties aiming for decisive agreements on reducing emissions to hold the earth’s temperature rise to 1.5°C – which we must do urgently and in the next decade if we are to achieve net zero by 2050.
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Dan Georgescu, Editor