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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Obituary - Ronald Abbott

Ronald William Abbott CVO CBE FIA ASA FPMI FRSA, one of the leading and most distinguished actuaries of his generation, died on 19 August 2006, aged 89.

Ronald was the senior partner of consulting actuaries Bacon & Woodrow (now part of Hewitt) from 1972 to 1982, having joined the firm in 1946 and taken up a partnership in 1948.

Ronald wrote and co-authored many seminal papers on the funding of both private and state pension schemes and was instrumental in establishing the importance of occupational pensions and the role of the actuary in that field. He was a frequent public speaker at conferences organised by the Industrial Society and NAPF and took every opportunity to promote in public the importance of pensions.

Ronald was a founder member of the Association of Consulting Actuaries, a member of council of the Industrial Society, a Council member of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), a vice-president of the Pensions Management Institute, and an honorary treasurer of the Institute of Actuaries.

Ronald’s enormous contribution in the field of pensions led to his appointment as the first deputy chairman of the Occupational Pensions Board. He subsequently became chairman, and he was awarded the CBE in 1979. He also received the CVO for his services to the royal households.

The Institue of Actuaries recognised his services to the profession with the award of the Finlaison Medal in 1988. Ronald’s approach to his work can best be summed up by quoting from his acceptance speech on receiving the Finlaison Medal: ‘It seems to me that a professional man carries two distinct burdens. One is the burden of responsibility for the quality of work he does and the other is the burden of conscience for the way he does it, in other words for his professional conduct.’

Ronald is survived by his second wife Barbara and his two daughters.