Tag Archives: news

Increasing care provision would allow more family carers to work, boosting the economy according to report

A report by Cass Business School commissioned by Carers UK states that a fundamental shift’ in the adult care system would not only help to support struggling families, but would also add significant value to the UK gross domestic product (GDP).

Carers UK commissioned the report to examine the challenges families are facing and to give an independent view on how to improve the lives of family carers.

Leslie Mayhew who wrote the report believes that before the government can reform the current care system, they must understand ‘the economic costs of failures in care’.

More than half of the UK’s 6.4 million family carers attempt to juggle the demands of caring for a disabled or elderly relative whilst maintaining a job. According to the report, if external care was provided, these people would be able to work full-time, contributing approximately £47,800 to the GDP each year.

Chief executive of Carers UK, Helena Herklots said: ‘Too often the debate around reform of care for older and disabled people is framed as a drain on public finances. It is time we recognised that helping families to juggle work and care and stimulating a new generation of care services can act as an engine for economic growth.’

45% have never reviewed their pension

45% of the working population have never reviewed their pension plans and 41% were unsure if they had selected the ‘default’ option.

The survey by Baring Asset Management, also found that more people were likely to choose friends and family for pensions advice than in previous years. 23% named this as their most likely source of advice, compared with 15% in 2011.  However, 34% selected professional advice from financial advisers or accountants as their preferred option.

Marino Valensise, Barings’ chief investment officer said: “Millions of people may be exposed to poor asset allocation and inappropriate levels of risk due to a refusal to review their pension investments regularly and with the correct levels of advice. This is more important than ever given the current volatile economic environment.”

GAAPS Actuarial – ISO accredited

GAAPS are very pleased to announce that we have been accredited with the ISO certification following a detailed inspection of our working recruitment methods in the actuarial profession.

The report which took place in early February highly praised our up to date audits and systems. Findings from both the internal and management review led to confidence that the systems will be well maintained. Unfortunately the recruitment industry has many companies who are sales led, rather than based upon sound processes and integrity. At GAAPS Actuarial Recruitment we have always prided ourselves on the robust processes and systems that we work to.

As well as the positive comments included within the report about our recruitment systems, our staff were commended for their knowledge of the actuarial industry, their specific roles and their responsibilities.

Actuarial recruitment – Argonauts Club Dinner.

It was another successful dinner at this months Argonauts Club and it was my pleasure to bring along guests Sandeep Varma, Samantha Hu and Richard Hartigan who reported to me that they all had an enjoyable evening.

We had two guest speakers; the first was Martin Shaw a partner of Midas Charity Appeal. He gave a thought-provoking talk on ‘Investing in charities a good idea or not?’ it is true that charities and their Guerrilla style tactics have earned them some bad press but we must take a step back and look at how we can support the sector. Martin made some interesting observations on this topic.

Our second speaker of the evening was Jane Curtis, the first lady President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries with her talk, ‘Public affairs: the problem with keeping everyone happy.’ Both speakers were excellent, after the speeches everyone enjoyed after dinner drinks in the Court Dinning Room.

After such a great night we will all be looking forward to our next dinner on the 17th May at The Ivy.

To find out more information on joining the Argonauts Club contact Geraldine Kaye on 020 7397 620 or email info@gaaps.com and mark your e-mail ‘Argonauts’

Soapbox: In praise of pioneers

Dr Geraldine Kaye interviewed by the famous magazine The Actuary investigates ways to encourage members of the actuarial profession to advance into new areas where actuaries can put their skills to use.

In time, a wheel turns full circle. In the first few volumes of the actuarial journal dating back to 1851 are papers relating to fire and other forms of general insurance. Yet, just around 15 years ago, when I started conducting general insurance salary surveys, there were only approximately 100 general insurance actuaries and general insurance was at that time being hailed as the new area for actuaries to explore.

When I first became an actuary, my dream was to become the first female stockbroker. It’s just as well that I didn’t, as the first lady stockbroker was ‘drummed out’. Back then, there were many actuaries in the investment field sliding up and down the yield curves. Now, there appears to be a relatively small number of investment actuaries in relation to the total number of actuaries that now exist. Why has this departure from such a lucrative field occurred? Dare I say that the Profession has not made it easy for them to remain within its folds?

I joined the Argonauts Dining Club about 25 years ago and I am proud to have been elected as chairperson of the club this year. The Argonauts is a dining club for actuaries working in the non-traditional fields or in non-standard occupations such as investment. Its remit has recently been widened to include general insurance actuaries as there were no specific dining clubs to cater for them. When I joined, I was an academic actuary and there were only a few academic actuaries — now there are many.

But why are actuaries turning away from the profession either by lapsing their membership or just denying or converting their membership to Affiliate status? I am particularly aware of this trend as chairperson of Argonauts, because it directly affects my members.

Most of these could be a case of ‘what’s in it for me?’ syndrome and, even worse, for some there are actually advantages in lapsing. Now that Type 3 membership of the Institute has been abolished, wider-fields actuaries must attend professionalism courses run by the Profession. As mentioned on the People/Society pages in the October 2011 edition of The Actuary on Argonauts: actuaries journeying though uncharted waters, the current CPD costs and bureaucracy are forcing experienced wider-field actuaries out of the profession.

Nobody argues that CPD is not a good thing but it must be relevant and appropriate. Many actuaries in the wider fields must not only pay their own professional subscriptions, but also fees for attendance at courses. However, money is only a small part of it. There is also the dismay that comes from having to take time out of their precious holiday allowance for attendance.

There seems to me to be few advantages in remaining a full member of the Profession rather than the cheaper version of an affiliate unless one is a ‘signing’ actuary or relishes in kudos the membership this exclusive club provides.

Why have I gone into such detail about this? For a start, new fields are trodden by pioneers. An HR director I once dealt with likened employing actuaries to addiction: “They are addictive — if you have one, you want more”. If they don’t have one (or worse, have one but don’t know it), then it might well be safe to say that they wouldn’t want more. To drive actuarial careers into new fields, we must encourage vision within our membership and keep them in the fold, not drive them out.

When I set up GAAPS Actuarial, a recruitment company dedicated to actuaries over 20 years ago, there were only a few actuaries as recruiters. At that time, many questioned my departure from the actuarial profession — I persevered and responded that I had not stopped being an actuary, I was merely utilising my skills in a new field. “Every change is chancy” goes the old Yemenite proverb, and chance was what I took in my change of profession. Now more and more actuaries have come forth in the recruitment industry — it has even become an acceptable profession for an actuary.

Challenging as it is for actuarial careers to advance into new areas, we must encourage pioneers by making it both effortless and simple to remain within the folds of the profession. New fields grow out of the work of these pioneers, and much less so from artificial lobbying and seeding by the Profession itself.

We must support our actuarial pioneers and their enterprises and must not forget to also refer to our history when searching out new avenues of endeavour.

(24 Nov 2011 by , Dr Geraldine Kaye)


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Leave to Remain Reduced to Two Years

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published the first review of the Tier 1 – Highly Skilled Migration Routes. They have recommended that all four routes of Tier 1 (General, Post-Study Work, Entrepreneur and Investor) should be retained.

In particular they have recommended that

People with an undergraduate degree as their highest qualification should be allowed in under Tier 1 General route, subject to high previous earnings;

The points available under the Tier 1 General route are updated to ensure that only the most highly skilled immigrants are admitted through this route; and

The initial leave to remain entitlement under the Tier 1 General route is reduced from three to two years, with a three year extension subject to evidence that the individual is in highly skilled employment.

The Chair of the MAC, Professor David Metcalf has said that “The recommendations that we have made will ensure that the system is robust enough to deal with the changing global economy and that the UK remains attractive for foreign investment.”

On-line copy of the report

Further details on Tier 1

Search for Actuarial Jobs

Actuarial Society of South Africa Launches New Qualification

On Monday night the Actuarial Society of South Africa held a formal dinner to launch their new actuarial qualification to the media and external stakeholders.

The launch of the new qualification is linked to a wider strategy of establishing the Actuarial Society as a full service professional body and is a tremendous milestone for the Society. The qualification is internationally recognised and a Mutual Recognition Agreement was signed with The Actuarial Profession (UK) in May.

The move is intended to ensure that actuaries have an in-depth knowledge of South African practice, products, legislation and tax, while also understanding international best practice.

The Actuarial Society of South Africa is looking to incorporate Enterprise Risk Management as part of the South African qualification at the earliest possible opportunity as this is a field of increasing interest to South African actuaries.

At GAAPS we wish the Actuarial Society of South Africa the best of luck in their latest venture.

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