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Looking to the Future

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S ALL ACTUARIES KNOW, FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED.

sessions, go to www.actuary.org/wf/index.htm. In a breakfast session, Forum participants were briefed on the status of important legislative issues before Congress—including proposals on terrorism insurance, retirement security, and financial services

To arm themselves with information on a variety of challenges facing the profession in 2002 and beyond, some 125 actuaries, policy-makers, and regulators attended the Academy’s Washington Forum on May 16. “This is the only actuarial conference devoted to See WASHINGTON FORUM, Page 4 issues of public policy and professionalism across all areas of actuarial practice,” Academy President Dan McCarthy told Washington Forum participants in welcoming remarks. “It was designed by actuaries for actuaries.” The Forum featured sessions on topics such as terrorism and bio-terrorism, demographic pressures on Social Security and Medicare, emerging national and international reporting paradigms, and professionalism and international practice. For indepth coverage of individ- Surrounded by colleagues, Ted Becker enjoys the moment as he is named the 2002 recipient of the ual Washington Forum Myers Award.

Inside Academy Road Trip Academy hosts public policy sessions in New York . . . . . . . . .PAGE 2 Underwriting Genetic Risk Genetic testing task force considers the options . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 6 Professional Diplomacy Vietnamese actuarial delegation comes to call . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 7 Myers Award Ted Becker receives 2002 public service award . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 8

Attacks Jolt Shaky P/C Market

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he Sept. 11 terrorist attacks further destabilized an already shaky property/casualty insurance market, according to a public statement recently issued by the Academy’s Extreme Events Committee. In its statement, the committee warned that insurance companies were significantly raising premiums in commercial lines, and eliminating or limiting terrorism coverage, because of the tremendous financial risks posed by the threat of terrorism. “As insurers and reinsurers try to find ways to protect themselves from potential

losses due to catastrophic terrorist events, the burden of risk will be shifted to the business community as an out-of-pocket expense. This will likely imperil new investment and place a greater drag on the economy,” said John Kollar, chairperson of the committee. Efforts to pass federal terrorism insurance legislation have been hampered by continuing disagreement about provisions related to “tort reform” and the level at which insurers become eligible for government assistance. The report does See ATTACKS, Page 7

Actuarial UPDATE

2002 Washington Forum

A CTUARIES


Calendar JUNE 3-4 CAS reinsurance seminar, Tarrytown, N.Y. 5 Academy COPLFR meeting, Chicago 6 Academy Social Insurance Committee meeting,

Academy NEWS Briefs

New York

6-7 NAIC Life and Health Actuarial Task Force meeting, Philadelphia

8-11 NAIC summer meeting, Philadelphia 17-21 SOA seminar on U.S. statutory reserving principles, Chicago

18 ASB meeting, Washington 18 Academy Life Financial Reporting Committee meeting, Newark, N.J. 20-21 ASB Pension Committee meeting, San Francisco 24-26 SOA spring meeting (health, pension), San Francisco 25 Academy Health Practice Council meeting, San Francisco 25-26 SOA retirement issues symposium, San Francisco 26 CIA professionalism workshop, Halifax, Canada 26 Academy Health Rate Filing Task Force meeting, San Francisco 27-28 CIA annual meeting, Halifax, Canada

JULY 8-9 CAS risk and capital management seminar, Toronto

15-16 CAS seminar on loss distributions, Boston 16-18 SOA seminar on asset liability management, Philadelphia

A Hill Briefing Goes to New York

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he Academy took its Hill briefings on the road May 3, hosting educational public policy sessions in New York for eight congressional staffers, including Senate Budget Committee and House Financial Services Committee aides. The group met in the Manhattan offices of Academy President Dan McCarthy, who provided an overview of the actuarial profession, the Academy, and the role of actuaries in public policy and insurance regulation. Bob Anker, the Academy’s president-elect, discussed how insurance is regulated, and Pat Teufel, the Academy’s vice president for financial reporting, briefed the group on financial modernization issues, including federal charters. Geoff Sandler, the Academy’s vice president for health insurance issues and assistant vice pres-

ident and actuary for Empire BlueCross BlueShield, spoke on the impact of Sept. 11 on the business operations of his company, formerly headquartered in the World Trade Center. Staffers also traveled to the offices of the New York State Insurance Department where they met Greg Serio, New York superintendent of insurance, and were briefed by senior insurance officials on the impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the insurance market. From all perspectives, the outing was a tremendous success. “What a great way to build relationships—and get our messages heard,” said Teufel. Her enthusiasm was echoed by a congressional staffer who told Todd Tuten, the Academy’s public policy director, that the New York trip had been “informative, useful—and a class act.”

24 Academy Committee on Professional Responsibility meeting, Washington 26 Academy Life Capital Adequacy Subcommittee meeting, Chicago 28 Academy Pension Practice Council meeting, Santa Fe, N.M. 29 Academy Pension Committee meeting, Santa Fe, N.M.

AUGUST 7-10 SOA conference on actuarial research, Waterloo, Canada

SEPTEMBER 7-10 NAIC fall meeting, New Orleans 9-10 NAIC Life and Health Actuarial Task Force meeting, New Orleans 12-13 ASB Pension Committee meeting, Washington 19-20 SOA valuation actuary symposium, Orlando, Fla. 19-20 CIA appointed actuary seminar, Toronto, Canada 23-24 Casualty loss reserve seminar, Arlington, Va. (Academy, CAS, CCA) 23-24 SOA 7702/7702A tax issues seminar, Washington 24 Academy Life Financial Reporting Committee meeting, Chicago 26-27 ASB meeting, Washington

OCTOBER 7-8 CAS catastrophe risk management seminar, Atlanta

19-21 IAA Council and Committee meetings, Barcelona, Spain 27-30 Academy annual meeting, Washington 27-30 ASPA annual conference, Washington 27-30 SOA annual meeting, Boston

NOVEMBER 3-6 CCA annual meeting, Amelia Island, Fla. 7-8 SOA annual investment actuary symposium, Chicago PLANNING AHEAD? Bookmark the complete calendar at www.actuary.org/calend.htm.

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Meeting minutes Representa-

tives from the Academy, the ASB, and the ABCD met recently with the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries to discuss professionalism issues involving pension actuaries. Topics included the possibilities for webbased continuing education and whether professionalism topics should be a mandatory portion of continuing education. Attending the meeting were Academy President Dan McCarthy; Immediate Past President Larry Johansen; Robert Rietz, the Academy’s vice president for professionalism issues; William Falk, a member of the Academy’s board of directors and chairperson of the Joint Committee on the Code of Professional Conduct; Alan Stonewall of the ASB; and Ed Burrows of the ABCD. The Academy also hosted a meeting with Steve Kandarian, the director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., to acquaint him with the Academy’s programs and mission. Participating in the meeting were Rick Lawson, the Academy’s executive director; June 2 0 0 2

Todd Tuten, director of public policy; Ron Gebhardtsbauer, senior pension fellow; and Bridget Flynn, pension policy analyst. Media misquote The work of the Health Practice Council’s Task Force on Health Insurance Rate Filing gained national attention when Chairperson Bill Bluhm was quoted in a front-page Wall Street Journal article on medical reunderwriting, a process that allows for the review of an insured person’s health at the time his or her private medical policy is renewed. However, the way Bluhm’s quote was used was misleading about the task force’s work and the Academy. In addition to describing the task force as an “insurance-industry” work group, the article stated that the task force will “ask state regulators to be more open to individual reunderwriting.” However, Bluhm actually said that the task force was analyzing the pros and cons of a number of options, including reunderwriting, and that it would present the results of that analysis without making specific

policy recommendations. To read the Academy’s complete response to the article, go to www.actuary.org/ newsroom/ratefiling.htm. CASUALTY NEWS

The Committee on Property and Liability Financial Reporting has offered comments to the NAIC on proposed changes in instructions for P/C statements of actuarial opinion, including point estimates in range of reserves, materiality, audit issues, and confidentiality. The NAIC is expected to vote on adopting the proposed changes at its meeting this month in Philadelphia. To read the comment letter, go to www.actuary.org/pdf/ casualty/coplfr_08apr02.pdf. ® The Index Securitization

Task Force recently sent a letter to the NAIC Securitization Working Group on hedge effectiveness and over-recovery from indexbased derivative contracts. To read the letter, go to www.

actuary.org/pdf/casualty/hedge_01 may02.pdf.


FINANCIAL REPORTING

The Financial Reporting Council has created a new Purchase Accounting Work Group, chaired by Dan Kunesh, a consulting actuary with Tillinghast-Towers Perrin in Buffalo Grove, Ill., and Marc Oberholtzer, principal consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia. ® Pat Teufel, the Academy’s vice president for financial reporting and a principal with KPMG LLP in Hartford, Conn., and Charles Carroll, a partner with Ernst & Young in New York, are the Academy’s liaisons on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Insurance Purchase Accounting Task Force. HEALTH NEWS

The Association Health Plan Work Group recently sent a letter to House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) commenting on association health plan provisions in patient protection legislation that could have unintended consequences. To read the letter, go to www.actuary. org/ pdf/ealth/ahp_09 april02.pdf. ® At an April meeting

with representatives of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), members of the EEOC-ADEA & Retiree Health Work Group discussed possible methods that are consistent with the Erie County ruling and that could be used to meet non-discrimination testing requirements under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act. Members of the work group who attended the meeting were: Chairman John Schubert, Pete Ford, Karl Madrecki, w w w. a c t u a r y. o r g

Mark White, and Dale Yamamoto.

To read an outline of their presentation, go to www.actuary.org/ pdf/health/erie_11april02.pdf. ® The Academy commented on the 2002 Medicare trustees’ report, noting in its statement that “without fundamental changes, Medicare will face increasing financial pressures.” To read the complete statement, go to www.actuary.org/pdf/medicare/ trustees_april02.pdf. ® Joining the Terrorism/Ex-

treme Events Work Group are Joe Bogdan, assistant vice presi-

dent and actuary for CIGNA in Hartford, Conn.; Charles Meintel, vice president and disability actuary for John Hewitt & Associates Inc.; and Tim Patria, assistant vice president of The Hartford Life Insurance Cos. in Simsbury, Conn.

now oversee all actuarial activities nationwide. Rosenblatt is serving her second term as a commissioner on the federal Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. Christopher Nickele has been appointed vice president and chief actuary for product development at First Penn-Pacific Life Insurance Co. in Schaumburg, Ill. He was formerly senior vice president at ZurichKemper Life Insurance Cos. Jack Gibson has been appointed life and financial services sector leader for North America for Tillinghast-Towers

Perrin in New York. Gibson was formerly a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he was the U.S. leader for life actuarial consulting. Michael Akers has been named senior vice president and chief actuary for AIG SunAmerica. He was formerly senior vice president and chief actuary for AIG Annuity Insurance Company and VALIC. Ethan Fish has joined the Ministry of Finance of Israel in Jerusalem as senior actuary in its Capital Markets, Savings, and Insurance Division. He was formerly an actuarial fellow for Guardian Life Insurance in New York.

PENSION NEWS

Curt Cartolano, a

principal with Hewitt Associates in Lincolnshire, Ill., has joined the Academy’s Committee on Pension Accounting. ® John Moore, principal and chief actuary with Chicago Consulting Actuaries in Denver, has joined the Pension Committee. ON THE MOVE

Alice Rosenblatt has been pro-

moted to executive vice president, actuarial and integration planning and implementation, at Wellpoint in Thousand Oaks, Calif. She was previously senior vice president for integration planning and implementation and chief actuary with responsibility for corporate actuarial work and planning. She retains her responsibility as chief actuary but will

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY TO YOUR FRIENDS—YOU MAY BE VIOLATING MORE THAN A CONFIDENCE. Precept 9 of the Code of Professional Conduct requires actuaries not to disclose confidential information except when authorized by those involved or required by law. You don’t want your words to come back to dog you.

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From left, Curtis Huntington, chairperson of the Academy’s Committee on International Issues; Steve Kern, a former Academy president; and Bob Anker, the Academy’s president-elect

From left, Social Security and Medicare panelists Gene Steuerle, Richard Foster, Steve Goss, and Bruce Schobel

Sam Gutterman, left, takes a question as fellow Forum panelist Richard Kopcke listens.

Academy President Dan McCarthy, right, confers with congressional staffers Robert Gordon and Sarah Kline before their breakfast briefing on legislative issues.

Forum panelist David Sandberg

modernization—by Robert Gordon, senior counsel for the House Financial Services Committee; Sarah Kline, majority counsel of the Senate Banking Committee; and Paul Zurawski, deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration. “We have taken a step on the way to institutionalizing the Forum as the Academy’s annual means of getting public policy input from members and of updating them on key public policy issues,” said McCarthy, remarking on the quality of information flowing in both directions from panelists and participants. “The reactions of the members who attended were very positive, and the leadership has to feel good about the direction we are taking.” During the Forum’s Washington luncheon, attended by about 175 people, Ted Becker, former chief life actuary for the Texas Department of Insurance, received the 2002 Robert J. Myers Award (see Page 8). Other highlights of the Washington Forum included a luncheon speech by Mike Jensen, former chief financial correspondent for NBC News. “When I was in television, we had to give our predictions with absolute conviction,” said Jensen. “Today there are no certainties; there are probabilities.”

Jeffrey Allen, right, with fellow bio-terrorism session panelists Patricia Wang and Daniel Wolak

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Fielding audience questions during the open forum were, from left, Academy President Dan McCarthy, President-Elect Bob Anker, and vice presidents Steve Lehmann, Pat Teufel, Geoff Sandler, Steve Preston, John Parks, and Bob Rietz.

Academy Vice Presidents Pat Teufel, Geoff Sandler, and Steve Preston

Academy Vice Presidents John Parks and Bob Rietz

Myers Award recipient Ted Becker, left, and Bob Myers

Mike Jensen, former chief financial correspondent for NBC News

Some of the probabilities that Jensen discussed included expanded growth in the U.S. economy, barring a major escalation of war in the Middle East or another major terrorist attack on the United States. “This is our century,” Jensen said. “Market capitalism is the game, and we invented market capitalism.” Jensen’s predictions about the future of the actuarial profession were equally rosy. “From the people I know [in the media], the talk about actuaries is always in a favorable light,” Jensen said. “You do a great service, you enlighten us, and you help us to guide our lives.” McCarthy echoed Jensen’s compliment in the Academy’s open forum at the end of the day. “The actuarial profession is seen to represent a good model of self-regulation in a profession,” McCarthy said, relaying positive comments he has received in recent meetings with various regulators. But McCarthy cautioned against complacency. Referring to the Enron scandal, he said, “We can’t afford to say, that’s those guys, not us.” Other speakers at the Washington Forum included Debra Ballen, executive vice president of public policy management for the American Insurance Association; Christopher Bowlin, senior vice president for federal and public affairs at the Health Insurance Asw w w. a c t u a r y. o r g

sociation of America; James Delaplane, vice president for retirement policy at the American Benefits Council; Gary Hughes, senior vice president and general counsel for the American Council of Life Insurers; Richard Kopcke, vice president and economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Gene Steuerle, senior fellow at the Urban Institute; and Patricia Wang, senior vice president for finance and management at the Greater New York Hospital Association. Academy leaders who contributed valuable time and effort as moderators and speakers included Academy President-Elect Bob Anker, former Academy presidents Larry Johansen and Mavis Walters, and Academy Vice Presidents Steven Lehmann, John Parks, Stephen Preston, Robert Rietz, Geoffrey Sandler, and Patricia Teufel. Other Academy members providing their expertise in session panels were Jeffrey Allen, Albert Beer, Allen Brender, Janet Carstens, William Falk, Richard Foster, Stephen Goss, Sam Gutterman, Curtis Huntington, David Powell, David Sandberg, Bruce Schobel, and Daniel Wolak. To order tapes or CDs of Forum sessions, go to www.actuary.org/wf/index.htm

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Social Security: Keeping Current BY

BRUCE D. SCHOBEL

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S THE DEBATE ABOUT THE FUTURE of

Social Security continues to evolve, the Academy’s Committee on Social Insurance has revised two earlier issue briefs to provide policymakers with the most up-to-date information. The first revised issue brief is Quantitative Measures for Evaluating Social Security Reform Proposals. Originally released in 2000, this brief describes various quantitative measures of Social Security’s financial condition to be used in evaluating the program’s financial condition, both under present law and as it would be modified by various reform proposals. These quantitative measures are also useful for comparing reform proposals with each other and with present law. The issue brief was revised primarily to include consideration of proposals utilizing transfers of general tax revenue as a source of financing for Social Security. Such transfers have been appearing increasingly often in reform proposals, including all three proposals issued last De-

cember by President Bush’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security. The second revised issue brief, An Actuarial Perspective on the 2002 Social Security Trustees Report, replaces last year’s version on the 2001 Trustees Report. Each year, the Board of Trustees of the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Trust Funds assesses the financial condition of Social Security over the next 75 years. The 2002 Trustees Report, released on March 26, indicates that Social Security is in slightly better financial condition than was projected last year, but the program remains out of close actuarial balance. The issue brief provides an actuarial perspective on the report with sufficient background material for readers to obtain a good understanding of what the trustees are saying, as well as a discussion of the limitations of the trustees’ assessment. Copies of both revised issue briefs are available at www.actuary.org/socsec.htm. Bruce D. Schobel is the chairperson of the Academy’s Social Insurance Committee and a member of the Academy’s Board of Directors.

Underwriting Genetic Risk

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if a blood test could predict the development of cancer later in life? What if a drug were developed that could eradicate cancerous cells? How would this affect Americans’ need for disability income and long-term care insurance? These are questions posed by the Academy’s Genetic Testing Task Force in its new issue brief, The Use of Genetic Information in Disability Income and Long-Term Care Insurance. The report examines the emerging dilemma of how best to respond to consumers’ concerns about the possible misuse of genetic information while preserving the viability of the voluntary, individual disability income (DI), and long-term care (LTC) insurance markets. The use of genetic information in the underwriting process is a controversial topic currently being debated by policy-makers. Consumer advocates argue that genetic information is private and that any use of such information should be at the discretion of the individual. Insurers, however, maintain that this view conflicts with the economic realities of the voluntary insurance market. Insurers are concerned that if they were prohibited from using genetic information, adverse selection would occur, causing higher prices that

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OW WOULD CONSUMERS AND INSURERS react

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H E A LT H

could discourage healthy people from buying policies. Ultimately, this could lead to insurer insolvency. It’s unclear at this point how the use of genetic information will affect the DI and LTC insurance markets. As the issue brief notes, new genetic technologies are developing rapidly and it remains to be seen how they will come to be used. Consequently, it’s difficult for those on all sides of the debate to agree on the best approach for regulating new genetic technologies. As a regulatory framework is developed, it’s critical for policy-makers, consumers, and insurers to consider not only the implications of new forms of health information on the DI and LTC insurance markets, but the legal protections currently in place and the limited knowledge about this immature but rapidly developing technology. Tom Wildsmith is the chairperson of the Genetic Testing Task Force. Other members include Cecil Bykerk, Dan Skwire, Darrell Spell, Alex Marek, Howard Underwood, and Bob Yee. To read the issue brief online, go to www.actuary.org/pdf/health/genetic_25apr 02.pdf. —HOLLY KWIATKOWSKI


PROFESSIONAL DIPLOMACY Representatives of the U.S. actuarial profession, including Ron Gebhardtsbauer, the Academy’s senior pension fellow; Lauren Bloom, the Academy’s legal counsel and director of professionalism; and Rod Chandler of the Society of Actuaries, met recently with Vietnamese officials in the Academy’s office. They discussed the role and training of actuaries in the United States and professionalism issues. The Vietnamese delegation included Central Committee officials as well as officials from Vietnam’s finance, labor, and social security departments. Also attending the meeting were representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Nominations Sought for Farley Award Every year at its annual meeting, the Academy presents the Jarvis Farley Service Award to an actuary who has provided sustained exemplary volunteer service to the profession. With the exception of current Academy officers and past presidents, all Academy members are eligible for the award, as are directors and members of the Actuarial Standards Board and the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline. The Academy is looking for nominations for the 2002 Farley award. A reply card is enclosed with this issue of the Update. You may also e-mail nominations to Noel Card, the Academy’s director of communications (card@actuary.org). Include the name of the nominee, a brief explanation of why his or her volunteer service is exemplary, and your name and telephone number. All nominations must be received by July 15.

Attacks, continued from Page1 not discuss specific bills under consideration in Congress but cautions that, for at least the short term, federal involvement is necessary to maintain stability in the insurance market. The report comments on insurance and reinsurance market conditions both before and after Sept. 11. It also discusses the effects of Sept. 11 on the P/C industry’s surplus, and reviews the legal, regulatory, financial, and actuarial barriers to a non-governmental solution. Among other findings, the report states that: ® The enormous financial consequences of additional extreme terrorist events could overwhelm industry capacity. ® The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are the largest insured loss ever recorded, likely to be in the range of $30 to $70 billion in pretax dollars. This compares, using today’s dollars, with $20 billion in losses from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and $15 billion in losses from California’s Northridge earthquake in 1994. ® Global reinsurers will likely incur between 60 and 80 percent

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of the total industry loss from Sept. 11. This has led many reinsurers, which are not subject to policy language regulation in the United States, either to exclude or substantially limit terrorism coverage. ® Corporate risk managers are expecting premium increases of 40 to 50 percent overall in commercial lines policies, compared with the 18 percent increases anticipated last June. The report analyzes workers’ compensation, commercial property, and commercial liability lines of business. It cites workers’ compensation and fire insurers as particularly vulnerable due to the statutory nature of these coverages. Even a modest-sized company with 100 employees could easily generate $50 million in workers’ compensation losses from a catastrophic terrorist event, the report says. Some fire insurers face immediate and severe threats to their financial operations, including insolvency, it adds. To read the report online, go to www.actuary.org/pdf/ casualty/terrorism_17apr02.pdf.

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Becker Receives Myers Award The Actuarial Update ASSOCIATE EDITORS

Michael Braunstein William Carroll Ronald Gebhardtsbauer Rade Musulin Peter Perkins Adam Reese EDITOR

Linda Mallon (editor@actuary.org) DESIGN AND PRODUCTION

BonoTom Studio Inc. PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Becky Horst

American Academy of Actuaries PRESIDENT

Daniel McCarthy PRESIDENT-ELECT

Robert Anker SECRETARY-TREASURER

Peter Perkins VICE PRESIDENTS

Steven Lehmann John Parks Stephen Preston Robert Rietz Geoffrey Sandler Patricia Teufel EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Richard Lawson DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Noel Card ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR PUBLICATIONS

Steven Sullivan MANAGING EDITOR, NEW MEDIA

Anne Richardson EXECUTIVE OFFICE

The American Academy of Actuaries 1100 Seventeenth Street NW Seventh Floor Washington, DC 20036 Phone 202-223-8196 Fax 202-872-1948 www.actuary.org Statements of fact and opinion in this publication, including editorials and letters to the editor, are made on the responsibility of the authors alone and do not necessarily imply or represent the position of the American Academy of Actuaries, the editors, or the members of the Academy. ©2002 The American Academy of Actuaries. All rights reserved.

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N RECOGNITION OF HIS MANY CONTRIBUTIONS as a career in-

surance regulator, Ted Becker received the Academy’s prestigious Robert J. Myers Public Service Award during the May 16 Washington Forum. In presenting the award at the Forum’s Washington luncheon, Academy President Dan McCarthy described Becker as “the epitome of professional competence and collegiality” and applauded his long dedication to public service with the Texas Department of Insurance and with the NAIC, particularly with its Academy President Dan McCarthy presents the 2002 Myers Award to Ted Becker. Life and Health Actuarial Task Force (LHATF). Becker was vice chairperson of LHATF Meeting Myers, Becker said as he accepted the for many years, serving with former Myers Award reaward, was a tremendous honor and one of the highcipients Robert Callahan and John Montgomery. lights of the day for him. “I’ve been around awhile, but One example of Becker’s innovative skill as an acI’d heard about Bob Myers before I even became an actuary, McCarthy said in his presentation, was his in- tuary,” Becker said. vention of what has become known as the Becker Method, the precursor of the NAIC Model Rule 830, also known as XXX. CADEMY LERTS While surprised to hear that the method was beFor the first time, the Academy is offering halfing called the Becker Method, Becker admitted to having spent a lot of his time on the issue. The method is year subscriptions to Academy Alerts, which prorelated to term insurance products that seem to genervide timely summaries of major legislative, regate very low reserves, Becker explained in an interview ulatory, and judicial developments affecting with the Update. “The method was to go back to these actuaries. products and try to examine whether they need higher reserves,” Becker said. The XXX project proved to As a subscriber, you can receive e-mailed be a controversial one, he added, that continued for Academy Alerts in the practice areas that interseveral years and utilized the expertise of a number of est you. You also get web access to those Alerts, regulatory, industry, and consulting actuaries. The curand receive complimentary Alerts that cover genrent method that resulted from the project, Becker said, eral insurance issues. “relies somewhat on actuarial judgment and monitorGenerally, Alerts are offered as a paid annual subing of the term business.” scription that starts each January. The discountBecker, former chief life actuary for the Texas Deed rates for a half-year subscription, running from partment of Insurance, is retired and lives in Austin, July to December 2002, are as follows: Texas. He first became interested in actuarial science ® Health insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $15 while a student at the University of Texas. Always good ® Life insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $15 in math, Becker discovered in college that he preferred ® Pension and employee benefits . . . . . . . . $25 pure math to math in the service of other scientific dis® Property and liability insurance . . . . . . . . $15 ciplines such as physics or chemistry. Actuarial science seemed to be a good fit, he said. For more information, look for the insert enclosed Also attending the luncheon were three prior rewith this issue of the Update. Or contact Heather cipients of the Myers award, Dwight Bartlett, Callahan, Jerbi, the Academy’s legislative assistant (jerand James Gardiner, and Robert J. Myers, former chief bi@actuary.org; 202-223-8196). actuary for Social Security, for whom the award is named.

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June 2002 Actuarial Update