As an actuary, you are responsible for keeping current with changes to the actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs) and ensuring that actuarial services rendered by you or by those under your supervision satisfy the current version of each applicable ASOP.
The Applicability Guidelines, updated after the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) issues a new or revised ASOP, are a useful tool to help you determine which ASOPs may apply to an assignment. These guidelines have been updated for several recently revised ASOPs:
ASOP No. 11, Treatment of Reinsurance or Similar Risk Transfer Programs Involving Life Insurance, Annuities, or Health Benefit Plans in Financial Reports (Effective Dec. 1, 2022)
ASOP No. 27, Selection of Economic Assumptions for Measuring Pension Obligations (Effective Aug. 1, 2021)
ASOP No. 32, Social Insurance (Effective Sept. 1, 2021)
ASOP No. 35, Selection of Demographic and Other Noneconomic Assumptions for Measuring Pension Obligations (Effective Aug. 1, 2021)
The Applicability Guidelines take the form of an Excel file with a tab for each practice area—health, life, casualty, and pension. Each tab lists tasks commonly performed by actuaries in that practice area. Next to each task is a list of the ASOPs that usually apply to each task. You can find a link to the most recent version of the relevant ASOP the top of each column.
In the September 2021 version, the life, health, and casualty tabs have been updated for ASOP No. 11. Casualty actuaries should note that the scope of ASOP No. 11 has been broadened to include casualty in some instances, and ASOP No. 11 is a new addition to the casualty tab. As the latest version of ASOP No. 11 does not take effect until late 2022, the health and life tabs contain two columns for ASOP No. 11—one for the current version and one for the new version.
The health tab has also been updated for ASOP No. 32. No changes have been made to the pension tab as a result of revisions to ASOP Nos. 27, 32, and 35. While the Applicability Guidelines suggest which ASOPs might provide guidance on more common actuarial assignments, they are not binding guidance published by the ASB. Instead, they are published by the Academy’s Council on Professionalism and updated with input from the Academy’s practice councils.
You may find it helpful to review all tabs of the Applicability Guidelines that might apply when performing particular tasks. For example, if you are a life actuary performing an appraisal of a life company writing health coverages, you may wish to review the health tab as well as the life tab.
The guidelines are a helpful tool to help you determine which ASOPs may apply to an assignment, but ultimately it is your responsibility to identify the standard or standards that apply to each assignment and to apply those standards appropriately when performing that assignment.