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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Social Policy Board news

New chairman of the Social Policy Board

The profession is pleased to announce that the new chairman of the board is Michael Pomery. Michael has considerable experience in leading a board and wide knowledge of social policy issues, having chaired the Pensions Board between 1998 and 2000. The staff and volunteers look forward to working with Michael.

Michael replaces Brian Ridsdale, who led the board between 2001 and 2003 and remains a member of the board. Brian has played a pivotal role in broadening the board’s portfolio of activities and in shaping its structure to reflect more closely the changing priorities of the profession. In particular he mounted the profession’s first international conference on the ageing population in 2002, has expanded the range of activities on retirement and the ageing population, and encouraged a more proactive stance on public interest issues and public relations work.

PPI seminar: state pensions reform

The actuarial profession is hosting a seminar exclusively for members to discuss the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) paper ‘A guide to state pensions reform’, at Staple Inn on 3 December 2003 at 5.30pm. Tea will be served at 5pm. It is also planning another seminar in Edinburgh for actuaries and other interested professions (date to be announced). The seminar is part of a series being held by PPI with several actuarial firms and other pension experts. Alison O’Connell, the PPI director, will give a short presentation, which will then be followed by a chaired discussion. A copy of the paper and summary can be downloaded from www.pensionspolicyinstitute.org.uk/news.asp?p=28&s=2. Those attending are asked to read the summary as preparation for the seminar. If you or a colleague would like to attend the Staple Inn seminar, please contact Mei Chan by 19 November, email meic@actuaries.org.uk, tel 020-7632 2148.

Joint lecture with ILC: immigration and demography

The collaboration between the profession and the International Longevity Centre (ILC) is continuing with a short conference on immigration and demography on Monday 1 December 2003, under the title ‘You’re welcome?’.

This is an interesting but controversial area of policy, central to the wider issue of the ageing population. However, the debate has changed considerably over the past 50 years, as refugees and asylum-seekers have come to replace newcomers from the Commonwealth. Some commentators have suggested that the challenges posed to society by increasing longevity and a low birth rate can be solved by increased immigration. However, it is important that national debates about future immigration are based on sound scientific analysis of the demographic, economic, and social implications. This event is aimed at making a constructive contribution to those debates by focusing on demographic analysis and its findings.

The conference will be opened by Peter Tompkins, the profession’s representative on the Population Investigation Committee, and chaired by Professor John Salt of University College London, one of the world’s leading demographers. Other speakers will include Dr David Coleman, reader in demography of Oxford University, and Dr Heaven Crawley, director of the migration and equalities programme at the Institute for Public Policy Research. There will be plenty of time for discussion.

The conference will take place at Staple Inn Hall starting at 4.30pm. Tea will be available from 4pm, and drinks will be served at 7pm, after the final discussion period. Please let Louise Tasker at the ILC (louisetasker@ilcuk.org.uk) know by 21 November if you or a colleague would like to attend. The ILC-UK will send you confirmatory details nearer the time.