Senior SOA Research staff reminisce about the holidays and look back on key 2017 research projects.

Direct download: Research_Insights_-_Special_Holiday_Season_Series_Part_2.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Self Insurance is, by members, the most important approach to funding employee health benefits in the commercial market, yet comparatively few actuaries specialize in this area. This podcast explains how the SOA Health Section's strategic initiative on self-insurance is working to educate actuaries and others about self-insurance challenges and opportunities.

Direct download: SOA17_33_Health_13_Self-Insurance_Task_Force.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 7:46am CDT

Senior SOA Research staff discuss memorable moments in SOA Research from 2017 and their holiday season plans.

Direct download: Research_Insights_-_Special_Holiday_Season_Series_Part_1.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Listen to a conversation with Lori Weyuker, innovator and actuary, who began her career in a traditional actuarial role then branched out into various roles that are "outside of the box."

Direct download: Lori_Weyuker_on_Pet_Insurance_Final.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurial & Innovation -- posted at: 4:53pm CDT

During this podcast, Dave Dillon interviews Liz Leif about the Next Generation High Risk Pool and its impact on the Individual Market.

Direct download: SOA17_32_Health_12_Next_Generation_High_Risk_Pools.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 11:15am CDT

This podcast is an overview of the Early Duration Claims Survey completed by the Society's Committee on Life Insurance Mortality & Underwriting Surveys. 

Direct download: Research_Insights_-_Early_Duration_Claims.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, Dale Hall, FSA, MAAA, CERA, CFA, Managing Director of Research, discusses the Living to 100 Monograph topic, Mortality Improvement, with Ronora Stryker, ASA, MAAA, Research Actuary  and Jean-Marc Fix, FSA, MAAA.

***Please note, this podcast was recorded via conference call.***


Direct download: Research_Insights_-_Living_to_100_-_Mortality_Improvement.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Listen in as Mick James reads his article "Long-Term Care− Are We Fishing in the Wrong Waters?” which was featured in the November 2017, Reinsurance News.

Direct download: SOA17_34_Reinsurance_04_Mick_James_LTC.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 1:29pm CDT

Listen in as Mary Broesch, FSA, MAAA reads her article "Chairperson’s Corner," which was featured in the November 2017, Reinsurance News.

Direct download: SOA17_35_Reinsurance_05_MBroesch_Chairpersons_Corner.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 1:26pm CDT

This podcast discusses the research report series, The Future of Retirement in China, presented by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute.  The report series examines consumer attitudes, beliefs and behaviors on various retirement issues. 

Direct download: Research_Insights_-_The_future_of_Retirement_in_China.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Listen in as Anders Larson, FSA, MAAA, interviews Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA about Support Vector Machines (SVMs). SVMs are a family of predictive models with a lot of unique quirks. For example, they can focus on getting to a yes/no answer above all else. Also don’t miss the heroic attempt to verbally explain the “kernel trick” that can really kick SVMs’ performance into overdrive.

Direct download: SOA17_37_PAF_09_Support_Vector_Machines.mp3
Category:Predictive Analytics and Futurism -- posted at: 9:21am CDT

This podcast reviews the research paper which provides an overview of tree models, and details how they have been used for developing group long term disability recovery and mortality rates. .

Direct download: Research_Insights_-_GLTD_Predictive_Analytics_Report_and_Data.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Dave Dillon interviews Ken Beckman about his October 2017 Health Watch article, “An Actuarial Model to Improve Health and Reduce Costs.” This model offers financial incentives to health care providers to help patients achieve improved health resulting in reduced overall health care costs. In contrast to the current environment which incentivizes prescribing drugs and medical procedures, this model relies on a prescription of whole food plant-based nutrition which has been shown in the scientific literature to be effective at reversing many common and chronic costly health conditions with no negative side effects.

Direct download: An_Actuarial_Model_to_Improve_Health_and_Reduce_Costs.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 10:18am CDT

From the October 2017 Taxing Times: This edition of “In the Beginning” provides a high-level overview of reinsurance: its purpose and uses, its different forms, and the tax results and issues that can arise in reinsurance transactions. Written by Jean Baxley and Eli Katz.  Read by Dan Theodore.

Direct download: TTOct2017_TaxingReinsurance.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 8:03am CDT

In this episode, Dale Hall, FSA, MAAA, CERA, CFA, Managing Director of Research discusses the Living to 100 Monograph topic, Insights into Successful Aging, with Steve Vernon, FSA, MAAA and Jean-Marc Fix, FSA, MAAA.

This podcast discusses Mortality Improvement Scale MP-2017, the annual update to the RPEC_2014 model and its corresponding mortality improvement scales, released by the Society of Actuaries Retirement Plans Experience Committee (RPEC). This new version of the model reflects historical U.S. population mortality experience through 2015.

Direct download: Research_Insights_-_Mortality_Improvement_Scale_MP-2017.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Listen in as Mark Rowley, SmallCo Section Council Chair, discusses the many benefits of joining the Smaller Insurance Company Section (“SmallCo”).

Direct download: SOA17_31_Small_Co_01_-_Join_the_SmallCo_Section.mp3
Category:Smaller Insurance Company -- posted at: 10:42am CDT

This podcast discusses The Older Age Underwriting Practices Survey, a survey designed to elicit feedback regarding underwriting guidelines, requirements, assumptions and practices utilized in the assessment of older age applicants. This survey was sent to US and Canadian direct life insurance companies.

Direct download: Research_Insights_-_Older_Age_Underwriting_Survey.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Bin Fang, FSA, MAAA, Director & Actuary at AIG, and Chair of the Actuary of Future Section Council has a conversation with Mindy Lin and Edmond Eberle on his experience volunteering for SOA, and working in a life insurance company.

Direct download: SOA17_25_AOF_02_02_Interview_with_Bin_Fang.mp3
Category:Actuary of the Future -- posted at: 1:07pm CDT

This podcast discusses the recently released report which serves as a primer on the mechanics and uses of the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) for actuarial and financial applications. The report also includes development of a new application for the HMM to mortgage-backed securities exchange-traded funds.

Direct download: Research_Insights_-Hidden-Markov-Model.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, Dale Hall, FSA, MAAA, CERA, CFA, Managing Director of Research discusses the Living to 100 Monograph topic, Senior Citizen in 2050, with Ronora Stryker, ASA, MAAA, Research Actuary.

Direct download: Research_Insights_-_Senior_Citizens_in_2050.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 caused sweeping changes in the dental insurance industry, affecting the construct of dental benefits, the pricing of those benefits, and the availability of dental coverage. Now, as changes to the ACA or elimination of some of its provisions could potentially be enacted in the coming months, the dental benefits industry again must determine how to succeed in this evolving environment. In this podcast we explore the impact of the ACA on dental and the potential ramifications of any changes to the dental related components of the law.

Direct download: SOA17_26_Health_08_Health_Reform_Dental_Impact.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 7:23am CDT

This podcasts discusses the following:

The Society of Actuaries Committee on Post Retirement Needs and Risks and Financial Finesse are pleased to make available the first of five briefs focused on retirement literacy issues. This first brief in the series explores retirement from a holistic perspective looking at non-financial issues. Subsequent briefs will address a number of financial issues such as the cost of retirement and managing risk. The brief was developed by a team lead by Greg Ward of Financial Finesse.

Direct download: Retirement_Literacy_Brief_1_-_Health__Happiness.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

There are roughly 46 million Americans are living with serious illness and functional impairment, and that number will soon swell, given demographic trends.  Palliative care is an added layer of support that relieves the pain, symptoms and stresses of serious illness, appropriate at any age and any stage of illness, ideally concurrent with treatment. Multiple studies demonstrate that the resulting improvements in quality of life translate directly into reductions in avoidable ED and hospital utilization.  SOA sat down with Dr. Diane Meier, founder and director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) to learn more about what palliative care is, who benefits, and what health plans and population health managers can do to improve care for those facing serious illness.

Direct download: SOA17_27_Health_09_Palliative_and_Hospice_Care.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 8:29am CDT

Learn about the potential impacts of selling health insurance across state lines as it relates to the individual and small group markets.

Direct download: SOA17_24_Health_07_Health_Ins_Across_State_Lines.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 10:33am CDT

Senior SOA Research staff discuss the upcoming SOA Annual Meeting, highlighting meeting sessions and their favorite things to do in Boston.

This podcast discusses the recent release of historical U.S. population mortality rates by gender and single year of age for calendar years 2000-2015. To develop these rates, the SOA relied upon data furnished by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Social Security Administration. A document summarizing key observations and the process used to develop the rates, along with a table of the rates themselves, can be found here.

Direct download: Reseach_Insights_SSA_Mortality_Release_2000-2015.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

The Medicare Advantage market is currently in the middle of a multi-year transition from the existing Risk Adjustment Processing System (RAPS) to the new Encounter Data System (EDS) for calculating risk scores. CMS has stated that ultimately EDS will be the sole diagnosis data source for Medicare Advantage organizations’ risk scores and revenue. Dave Dillon, FSA, MAAA, interviews Deana Bell, FSA, MAAA, on the topic and they discuss how the transition has shown to have a financial impact on Medicare Advantage revenue and how actuaries are well equipped to help.

Direct download: SOA17_22_Health_06_Medicare_Advantage_Risk_Scores.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 2:49pm CDT

During this podcast, Dave Dillon interviews Andrew Sykes about his non-traditional path to actuarial work and helping actuaries to develop the skills to influence other people to take specific actions based on their work.

Direct download: SOA17_28_Health_10_Influence_Training_for_Actuaries.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 10:45am CDT

In this episode the winning Financial Wellness essays in the Individual Strategies category are discussed.

Considering combo products?  Listen in to hear Joe Wurzburger, SOA staff fellow and Dennis Martin, senior vice president of product & business development at OneAmerica Financial partners discuss perspectives on risk management for this rapidly growing product category.

Direct download: SOA17_23_LTC_03_LTC_Combo_Products.mp3
Category:Long Term Care -- posted at: 7:56am CDT

This podcast discussed 2 recently released reports:

Climate, Weather and Environmental Sources for Actuaries

This report was prepared in response to the Society of Actuaries’ request for a set of data, analysis and discussion sources pertaining to climate change, environmental risks and weather. The report is a collection of sources that deal with the questions of how do scientists know, and what could actuaries do.

Climate Sources for Actuaries

This research initiates the development of a repository of information regarding existing climate and environmental sustainability research of interest to actuaries. The repository, which is referred to as the Climate Sources for Actuaries Resource Index (or Resource Index), will be of use to the SOA and the Climate & Environmental Sustainability Research Committee in developing their future environmental research programs; to actuaries practicing in the area of climate change and environmental sustainability; to actuaries and their employers, who need to understand the implications of climate change to their existing areas of practice; and to climate researchers interested in improved financial projections associated with climate change.

Bayes’ Theory has been used to find a lost hydrogen bomb, break the German WWII code, identify smoking as a cause of lung cancer and heart disease, establish merit rating in insurance, and enable computers to “learn” and “make decisions.” But each time it was used, the techniques were not published, and the theory was allowed to die.  Actuaries played a prominent role throughout history in originally discovering Bayes’ Theory and resurrecting it to solve practical problems. Roy Goldman brings to life this actuarial history in his Contingencies article “Bayes’ Gift,” based on the book The Theory that would not Die by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne.

Direct download: SOA17_20_Health_05_Roy_Goldman.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 10:19am CDT

In this introductory episode, Dale Hall, FSA, MAAA, CERA, CFA, Managing Director of Research discusses the Living to 100 Monograph with Ronora Stryker, ASA, MAAA, Research Actuary.

***Please note, this podcast was recorded prior to the cancellation of  the Valuation Actuary Symposium due to Hurricane Harvey.***                   

Direct download: Research_Insights_-_Living_to100_Challenges__Opportunities.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode the winning Financial Wellness essays in the Workplace Initiatives Category are discussed.

Mike Boot, Managing Director, Sections and Practice Advancement and Joe Wurzburger, Health Staff Fellow provide tips and ideas for moderating a session at an SOA meeting.

Direct download: SOA17_30_PD_01_Tips_for_Moderators.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:07am CDT

During this podcast, Joe Wurzburger interviews Dave Dillon about the Health Section Council’s initiative concerning healthcare reform. They discuss how the SOA is addressing education and research concerning the important issues in the ever changing health insurance landscape.

Direct download: SOA17_21_Health_Commercial_Healthcare_Whats_Next.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 11:26am CDT

Listen in as Anders Larson, FSA, MAAA, interviews Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA, and Michael Niemerg, FSA, MAAA, about artificial neural networks. Artificial neural networks have gone through a recent renaissance as part of deep learning. Artificial neural networks can now provide amazing accuracy, but they come with an equally amazing amount of complexity. This podcast provides a very high-level overview of everything from their history to modern implementations.

Direct download: SOA17_29_PAF_08__Neural_Nets_Renaissance.mp3
Category:Predictive Analytics and Futurism -- posted at: 11:42am CDT

U.S. Public Pension Plan Contribution Indices, 2006–2014 | SOA

This podcast discusses the recent study which explores contribution indices—metrics developed by the SOA that compare pension plan contributions to benchmarks that represent the contribution level needed to pay down unfunded liabilities—for contributions among 160 state and large city public sector pension plans in the United States.


Predictive Analytics and Accelerated Underwriting Survey Report | SOA

The Predictive Analytics & Accelerated Underwriting Survey Subcommittee of the Society’s Committee on Life Insurance Mortality and Underwriting Surveys has completed its report on the results of a survey designed to obtain feedback on several current hot topics in the industry, namely predictive analytics, accelerated underwriting and enhanced underwriting. This survey was sent to US and Canadian direct life insurance companies.This pocast discusses the report.


This podcast discusses the report which covers US regional population mortality experience during the period 2000-2015. The Society of Actuaries pursued the research as part its ongoing longevity and mortality research initiatives. The purpose of the research is to produce an overview of the differences and similarities in mortality by age group, time, cause of death and region (geographic and urban-rural) to better aid in the understanding of future expected mortality rates and the management of public programs and policy.

This podcast discusses the study sponsored by the Product Development Section, International Section, Smaller Insurance Company Section, and the Committee for Life Insurance Research.  This study examines global product development (PD) practices of life insurance and annuity companies. Performed by LIMRA and RGA, this project consisted of a survey of North American life insurance and annuity companies and examined current insurer PD processes including the evolution of the current strategy; variation of the strategies by company characteristics (e.g., size, life vs. annuity) and region (e.g., United States vs. Canada vs. Other companies); and identified leading PD practices globally. The results of the research can provide the life insurance industry with a resource to help enhance resource management and current processes to better serve the needs of its stakeholders.

This podcast discusses the study, Parameter Uncertainty, sponsored by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA), and the Society of Actuaries' (SOA) Joint Risk Management Section and the Joint Risk Management Research Committee. Authored by a Hartman Analytics team of Brian Hartman, Robert Richardson, and Rylan Bateman, the paper provides structures to incorporate parameter uncertainty in quantifying risk and illustrates the application through case studies.

Direct download: Research_Insights-Parameter-Uncertainty.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Listen in as Anders Larson, FSA, MAAA, interviews Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA about Gradient Boosting Machines (GBMs). Although GBMs share many characteristics with Random Forests, they can often provide better performance at the cost of somewhat higher complexity. This discussion covers topics including underlying theory, tuning hyperparameters and modern implementations.

Direct download: SOA17_19_PAF_07_GBMs.mp3
Category:Predictive Analytics and Futurism -- posted at: 10:42am CDT

In this first installment in the series, Dale Hall, SOA Managing Director of Research discusses an overview of the Financial Wellness essays with Steve Siegel, SOA Research Actuary and Anna Rappaport, of Anna Rappaport Consulting.

Please note, this podcast was recorded via conference call, rather than our higher sound quality digital recording program.

Direct download: Research_Insights_-_Financial_Wellness_1.mp3
Category:Research Insights -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

From the June 2017 Taxing Times:  The IRS has consistently spoken to the doctrine of investor control through private letter ruling requested by insurers and fund managers. And within the past decade, many of those requests, and the rulings issued in response, dealt with the concern that indirect investment in publicly-available funds could, depending on the structure employed, fall on the wrong side of the doctrine. Three recent private letter rulings, the subject of this article, represent a continuation of this trend.  Written by John T. Adney and Bryan W. Keene.  Read by Dan Theodore.

Direct download: TT_June2017_InvestorControl.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

The field of public health does important work around the world in keeping populations safe and healthy.  This podcast will explain how the SOA Health Section's strategic initiative on public health is working to educate and connect actuaries with the world of public health.

Direct download: SOA17_16_Health_04_Public_Health.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 8:10am CDT

This podcast discusses the article, US Pension Discount Rate Comparison 2009-2014,which compares the recent historical relationship between pension plan funded status and discount rates used to compute liabilities for funding purposes. Comparisons include all three major categories of defined benefit pension plans in the United States: single employer (SE) plans, multiemployer (ME) plans, and state and large city public plans (PP)

This podcast discusses the December 2016 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposed updated mortality tables, starting in 2018 for minimum funding requirements for single employer defined benefit pension plans.  This study estimates the impact of the proposed change on the single employer pension system as a whole; the impact on individual plans may differ.

During this podcast, Dave Dillon interviews Jackie Lee about an article she coauthored on telemedicine. They discuss how the current telemedicine landscape and why actuaries should be paying attention into these types of services as it has potential pricing impacts.  

Direct download: SOA17_13_Health_03_Telemedicine.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 8:15am CDT

This podcast discusses the recently released report by The Society of Actuaries that describes the components of margin for calculating capitation rates in a Medicaid context along with a description of practical issues that may be encountered by MCO’s. The report includes observations from interviews with MCO executives as well as financial results analysis of MCOs nationwide. The material was authored by Sara Teppema, Jeff Goldman, Luke Smith, and Steve Tutewohl from Valence Health.

Listen in as Anders Larson, FSA, MAAA, interviews Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA about how to do well at Kaggle. In the last episode they explored what Kaggle is and what makes up the various predictive modeling contests they host. In this episode, Shea shares some tips and general advice on how to perform well in a given Kaggle contest.

Direct download: SOA17_17_PAF_05_How_to_do_Well_at_Kaggle.mp3
Category:Predictive Analytics and Futurism -- posted at: 3:42pm CDT

Listen in as Anders Larson, FSA, MAAA, interviews Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA about Kaggle. Kaggle is an online community that brings together data scientists from across the globe to participate in predictive modeling contests.

Direct download: SOA17_17_PAF_05_Kaggle_Competition.mp3
Category:Predictive Analytics and Futurism -- posted at: 3:38pm CDT

In this Society of Actuaries podcast, listen to a conversation with Kevin Pledge, entrepreneurial actuary, a visionary who started his career as a traditional actuary in a corporate role who later went out on his own to successfully create more than one company.

Direct download: EI_Kevin_Pledge_Final.mp3
Category:Entrepreneurial & Innovation -- posted at: 9:10am CDT

Listen in as Ronald Poon-Affat, FSA, FIA, MAAA, CFA reads his article "Actuaries and the Growth Mindset," which was featured in the March 2017, Reinsurance News.

Direct download: SOA17_15_Reinsurance_03_RPoonAffat.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 9:56am CDT

Listen in as Anthony Asher reads his article "The Social Impact of the Actuarial Profession," which was featured in the March 2017, Reinsurance News.

Direct download: SOA17_14_Reinsurance_02_AAsher_Article.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 9:46am CDT

This podcast discusses the recently released report by The Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries that examines a simple but accurate means of assessing discount rate sensitivity. Data used in this report were provided by the Financial Institutions Commission of the Province of British Columbia (FICOM).

From the June 2017 Taxing Times: The federal income tax law was once described by a federal judge as a conspiracy in restraint of understanding. While people—including tax professionals—at times feel that way, there are some terms in the tax law that appear reassuringly simple. And yet some of those terms are deceptively simple. This edition of the “In the Beginning” column devotes itself to exploring, at a basic level, the tax meaning of three concepts that are fundamental to the income taxation of life insurance products: premiums paid, investment in the contract, and basis. Written by John T. Adney.  Read by Dan Theodore.

Direct download: TT_June1017_InTheBeginning.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 10:40am CDT

This podcast discusses the recently released report describing the Human Mortality Database, a unique open‐access collection of detailed mortality and population data for 38 countries with complete and reliable vital registration and census data. This report overviews the development and completion of the HMD data series down to a cause of death level for an initial set of eight populations: Canada, Czech Republic, England and Wales, France, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the United States.

For further information please find the report here:


This podcast discusses the recently released article describing the demographics and geography of the increasing number of opioid deaths in the United States. The article summarizes data available from the Centers for Disease Control.

For further information please find the article here:


Listen in as Stephen Camilli, FSA, reads his article "The Birth of an Actuarial Learning Company," which was featured in the March 2017, Reinsurance News. This article outlines the birth and history of ACTEX Learning, an actuarial publishing and education company, which has changed over the years along with the profession’s actuarial exam and CPD systems. It also highlights one example of a non-traditional actuarial career path, working in the development of actuarial education and training materials. 

Direct download: SOA17_12_Reinsurance_01_SCamilli_Article_v2.mp3
Category:Reinsurance -- posted at: 12:06pm CDT

In this Ask an Actuary Podcast, an actuarial student just beginning on his actuarial path, interviews Jeff Passmore, Chair of the Investment Council of the Society of Actuaries, about his actuarial journey. Investments touch nearly every other branch of actuarial work, and investment actuaries play a key role in matching asset portfolios to the nature of the liabilities, be they pensions or various insurance products. Jeff also shares his views on investment actuarial work, as well as the credentialing and continuing education processes.

Direct download: Ask_An_Investment_Actuary.mp3
Category:Investment & Risk -- posted at: 9:50am CDT

Nicole Kim, FSA, MAAA, and the Director at KPMG has a conversation with Mindy Lin and Edmond Eberle on her experiences in an actuarial consulting role, and her outlooks on the future of actuarial industry.

Direct download: SOA17_10_AOF_01_Interview_with_Nicole_Kim.mp3
Category:Actuary of the Future -- posted at: 1:18pm CDT

Joe Wurzburger, SOA staff fellow, interviews Bruce Stahl, ASA, MAAA on the correlation between interest rates and inflation of LTC expenses, and how the correlation may impact the experience of LTC insurance.

Tax and statutory accounting changes present complex legal questions and challenges in product development and financial reporting, underscoring the importance of collaboration between actuarial, financial and legal departments. To get perspective on best practices for tax actuaries collaborating with accountants and lawyers, we interviewed three representative tax leaders who included the chief tax officer (CTO), chief tax actuary, and chief tax counsel from three major U.S. insurance companies. From the February 2017 Taxing Times. Written by Sheryl Flum, Rena Kuliyeva and Jacqueline Yang.  Read by Dan Theodore.

Direct download: TTFeb2017BestPracticesCollaboration.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 11:25am CDT

Dave Dillon, FSA, MAAA interviews Randy Herman, FSA, MAAA about the November 2016 Health Watch article  “Review: Do Individuals Make Sensible Health Insurance Decisions? Evidence From a Menu With Dominated Options” that he co-authored. They discuss the sub-optimal health insurance choice decisions made by employees, methods to improve decision quality and how concepts from behavioral finance theory might help explain the results.

Direct download: SOA17_04_Health_01_-_Employee_Choice_Issue.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 4:26pm CDT

The IRS recently released Notice 2016-631 providing safe harbor guidance for use of the 2017 CSO in calculations under sections 7702 and 7702A. This article contains a summary which many actuaries will find quite helpful. Written by John T. Adney, Craig Springfield and Brian King. Read by Dan Theodore.

Direct download: TTFeb2017IRS2016-63SafeHarborGuidance.mp3
Category:Taxation -- posted at: 3:20pm CDT

This podcast gives a brief overview of the payment systems being introduced by MACRA as well as the changes to Medicare Supplement.

Direct download: SOA17_05_Health_02_MACRA_Medicare_Supplement.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 10:36am CDT

Listen to Tim Rozar of RGAx (innovation incubator wholly owned by RGA) as he discusses his career trajectory from traditional actuary into a leadership position in an innovation environment.  Learn how you can bring innovative approaches to your role ... whatever it might be.  Tim is an elected member of the SOA Board of Directors.

Listen in as Anders Larson, FSA, MAAA, interviews Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA about Random Forests.  Random Forests are a very important machine learning algorithm that all practitioners should be very comfortable with. They provide great performance with minimal tuning and headache. As a bonus, this session features what is hopefully much improved audio.

Direct download: SOA_17_02_PAF_02_-_Random_Forests.mp3
Category:Predictive Analytics and Futurism -- posted at: 8:54am CDT

Listen in as Shea Parkes, FSA, MAAA interviews Timothy Paris, FSA, MAAA and Steve Wright, FSA, MAAA from Ruark Consulting.  Tim and Steve have developed predictive analytics expertise at their company over the last few years.  They share stories from that journey and some suggested resources for others wanting to do the same.

This is the second of a series of interviews sponsored by the Entrepreneurial & Innovation Section of the Society of Actuaries.  Each participant is an actuary that has chosen an unusual professional path, whether in an area where few actuaries have been before or in a traditional area but with a new business model or a unique role.  What these actuaries share in common is their entrepreneurial & innovative spirit. 

In this interview, Carlos Fuentes, President of Axiom Actuarial Consulting, FSA, and a member of the E&I Section shares with us highlights and learnings of his career both inside a large company and on his own. He also shares insights about working overseas, advice for new entrepreneurs, how to find outside vendors you can trust, and discusses his decision to obtain an MBA.

The new world order where disruptive economies, volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity prevail, poses tremendous challenges for actuaries. The focus of this podcast is to help actuaries understand how their ability to influence and lead is key to their success and impact.