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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Social Policy Board news

From lump sums to periodic payments and beyond

The Damages Working Party held a short conference for the legal and actuarial professions on 7 March 2005, following the implementation of the Courts Act 2003 with its provision for periodic payments for claimants involved in personal injury claims. The speakers were:

  • David Marshall, of Anthony Gold Solicitors, who kindly introduced the programme at the last minute in place of a speaker from the Department for Constitutional Affairs who was unable to attend.
  • Chris Daykin, the government actuary, on assumptions underlying the Ogden Tables and their impact on periodic payment orders, the use of RPI increases, and changes in life expectancy;
  • two leading personal injury solicitors, David Marshall, who acts for claimants, and Michael Hardman, who acts for defendants, on the impact of the new regime using a case study;
  • actuary Mike Brockman on challenges to general insurers in meeting periodic payment awards.

The meeting was attended by about 160 people, with a good presence of solicitors and barristers. There was plenty of opportunity for discussion, which ranged over several topics, including the lack of preparation for introducing periodic payments in April 2005 and the demands on general insurers to develop new products. Adrian Gallop reports in this issue about the event in greater detail. Michael Pomery pointed out in his introduction that such an event, attracting a large number of people from different professions, showed that the actuarial profession was far from insular in its work with others. The event provided CPD credits of two-and-a-half hours for members of the actuarial profession, Law Society, and the Bar. This area of actuarial practice is an important example of the profession’s outreach into new areas of professional practice.

Damages Working Party – call for new members

The working party is keen to invite fellow actuaries interested in this innovative area of actuarial work to join it. It does much of its work by email exchange and meets about twice a year. If you are interested please contact the working party secretary, Martin Hewitt, tel 020-7632 2185, email martinh@actuaries.org.uk.

Meeting with pension commissioners

Following the submission of the profession’s response to the Pensions Commission’s first report, a delegation from the profession – Michael Pomery, Deborah Cooper from the Social Policy Board, and Robert Hails from the Pensions Board – met the three pensions commissioners, Adair Turner, John Hills, and Jeannie Drake, on 7 March to discuss the response. The meeting discussed whether government should provide an earnings-related pension and how this could be financed; the profession’s research on consumers’ understanding of risk, which shows that ordinary savers do not save in a rational and optimising manner; tax incentives as a means to encourage more savings; rebates for opted-out pension contributors; ways of sharing the risks of longevity; product innovations in pensions and annuities that redistribute risks between the state and individual; postponing retirement age for all versus differential retirement ages for different occupational and income groups.

Profession/ILC-UK lectures

At the lecture on 24 March the two speakers spoke about work and careers in the context of increased longevity. Dr Phil Taylor, senior research associate at Cambridge Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Ageing, considered the likely place of older workers in tomorrow’s labour markets and critically appraised current policy-making. Dr Catherine Hakim, senior research fellow in sociology at the LSE, talked about how equal opportunities and the contraception revolutions have given women new options in the labour market, while increased longevity gives everyone more options for the balance between employment and family roles over the lifecycle.

The next joint lecture between the ILC-UK and the profession is on 20 July at Staple Inn when Dr Karen Rowlingson (University of Bath) will launch the publication of her study ‘Whose money is it, anyway? Attitudes to assets, inheritance, and inter-generational relationships’, co-written with Dr Steve McKay (University of Bristol) and published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). This is one of the first studies of changing attitudes to inheritance in the 21st century. The profession has kept a close interest in the study and Peter Tompkins was a member of the JRF board overseeing the work, which has been referred to in several publications by the profession.

If you or a colleague would like to attend, please contact Louise Tasker, email louisetasker@ilcuk.org.uk, tel 020-7735 7565. For more information visit www.www.ilcuk.org.uk/events/.