In the run-up to the EU referendum, Richard Purcell reflects on how actuaries can inform many big decisions facing society
When I received my leaflet from the UK government, explaining why it believes we should remain in the EU, it got me thinking about how we help our own stakeholders understand facts and make complex decisions every day. Of course, we have the Actuaries' Code to guide us.
It prescribes a number of considerations, but one that stands out for me is putting information into proper context.
With pension freedoms offering more options for customers planning their retirement, providing that wider context has never been more important.
In this issue, the Why Retire working party suggests how rules of thumb and holistic tools can help customers make more informed decisions.
It's easy to think our role in decision-making is just about presenting the facts, but Peter Naylor explains how, in other industries like oil and gas, questioning and listening to stakeholders is also vital to effective decision risk analysis.
In serving the public interest, perhaps we should also have a more visible role in the big decisions of our time.
This month, we interview Sir David Spiegelhalter, the incoming president of the Royal Statistical Society, who believes statisticians should have a higher profile in policy, society and the media. Shouldn't actuaries be working towards the same goal?
After attending one of the IFoA's EU debates, it feels to me we are very much engaged in this once-in-a-generation event. What's more, we can provide some valuable insight on the big issues. Martin Potter, from the IFoA Scottish Board, shares his views on one possible Brexit scenario.
Whatever your views, I hope actuaries continue to engage, inform and give voice to a historic decision that could irrevocably change our society.