Derek Cribb urges members to give voice to their thoughts and play an active role in 2016s big issue the EU referendum
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you back to The Actuary and to a new-look column for 2016. It is my belief that this year will be one of a bolder, innovative and more proactive Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA).
As part of this proactive view, the IFoA has created the EU Referendum Working Party. Much of the core information needed for informed decision-making touches on the work of our members - whether in actuarial science, demographics or broader financial services.
I am very much looking forward to seeing the activities and outcomes of the working party over the next few months.
As a Royal Chartered professional body, we believe it is our public-interest duty to look at these issues closely to help inform the public, using the unique actuarial skills and expertise that we can bring.
We must go beyond the 'black and white' debate and analyse the long-term risks and benefits of remaining in - or leaving - the EU.
First, we will look into the potential effects of the vote on state pension and (re-)insurance systems, and the sustainability of these systems.
Second, we want to inform, and start, debate among members. The EU referendum is 2016's big issue, and may affect our international members as well as those in the UK. We would like to hear all of you voicing your thoughts, ideas, concerns and questions.
We have reached out to all our regional societies to help stimulate debate, and will be using our many communications channels to raise awareness of our work in this area.
We also plan to organise two national debates, in London and Edinburgh, targeting our members as well as external business, political and media stakeholders.
The referendum debate is not only rich ground for applying actuarial science but is also a great chance to raise the profile of actuaries' skills as well as awareness of the IFoA. We should grasp such opportunities with both hands.
This is an exciting time for the IFoA and its public affairs activity, and the results of this work will be reflected in our visibility and reputation in the public sphere.
If you are interested in sharing your thoughts and ideas with the EU Referendum working party, please email Tim Werkhoven, the IFoA's policy adviser, at [email protected]
In this issue of the magazine we are also looking back at some notable achievements of 2015, and there's one particular area I'd like to highlight as raising our profile and reputation outside our traditional stakeholder group.
In December, the IFoA attended COP21, the United Nations international climate change conference in Paris. Nico Aspinall, chair of the IFoA Resource and Environment Board, presented our thinking on actuarial principles for risk management for climate change at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (see p28).
The presentation was extremely well received and shows there is a clear appetite for actuarial insight into climate risk.
It sits alongside the workshop we hosted earlier in the year on the role of insurance regulation in supporting adaptation to climate change for the Prudential Regulation Authority.
This workshop contributed to a speech on the topic given by Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England.
Where there are opportunities to both fulfil our public interest role and raise the profile of actuaries, then we have a sweet spot we must make the most of.
I have focused on two areas here, and there will be more we identify - whether from within the executive function or through the extensive volunteer members base.
If you would like to contribute to your profession as a volunteer, please contact Debbie Atkins, head of volunteer engagement: [email protected]
In doing so, you will also be helping to drive forward the IFoA vision that:
"We will serve the public interest by ensuring that where there is uncertainty of future financial outcomes, actuaries are trusted and sought-after for their valued analysis and authority."