The shape of things to come

See how actuaries help define our nation

Watch video

Actuaries touch the lives of all Canadians

Since 1852, Canada’s actuaries have helped define and connect our nation in surprising ways–from insurance to investments, climate change to healthcare, pensions to social programs. We look forward to future challenges and opportunities to help create financial security for all Canadians.

 

A place to live like no other — for 150 years


1st
Canada’s rank in positive influence on the world

1st
Canada’s social progress ranking among G7 countries

9th
Canada's global health and primary education ranking

15th
Canada’s global infrastructure ranking

8th
Canada Pension Plan’s ranking among global pension plans

Future challenges actuaries are tackling today

0 million Canada’s projected population in 2050
(medium-growth scenario)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
= 1M

Actuaries: Shaping the Canada of tomorrow today

Actuaries are risk management experts. With specialized skills in predictive modelling, statistics, and risk theory, actuaries across the country work to ensure Canada is well-positioned to meet the needs of people, organizations, industries, and government in the future.

Rob Hinrichs

"Actuarial science includes advanced statistical modelling, linear algebra, and stochastic processes, all topics that apply to big data analytics."

Rob Hinrichs, FCIA, FSA, MAAA
Hinrichs Actuarial Services
Actuary

Read his story

Rob Hinrichs, FCIA, FSA, MAAA
Hinrichs Actuarial Services
Actuary

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
I retired as chief actuary of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario in 2012. Today, while enjoying retirement, I continue as an actuarial consultant on a part-time basis. Most of my consulting work involves assisting in and inspecting the actuarial aspects of financial statement audits. I see this role continuing to expand and evolve as accountants, auditors, and actuaries adopt new International Financing Reporting Standards, in particular, IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
I was good at math and liked its applied aspects. At the beginning of my second year at university, I took five out of six math disciplines. By the end of the year, my enthusiasm for actuarial science remained strong while many others, who had shared that same enthusiasm in the beginning, went into other disciplines.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future? 
Actuaries, more than any other group, probably best understand and can demonstrate the impacts of intergenerational equity and, more importantly, inequity. People’s lives (and their children's and grandchildren’s lives) depend on good decision-making by governments and their workers’ compensation agencies, and actuaries can play a key role in helping make this happen.

Angelita Graham

“Actuaries will be crucial in ensuring our retirement system continues to be among the handful of successful public pension plans.”

Angelita Graham, FCIA, FSA
Mercer Canada
Principal

Read her story

Angelita Graham, FCIA, FSA
Mercer Canada
Principal

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
My area of expertise is pension. I support organizations in the governance of their pension plans by providing sound actuarial advice. That means evaluating the pension promise, determining the funding requirements, and working with clients to find solutions to mitigate the risks inherent in the pension promise to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the pension plan.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
My love for mathematics led me to the actuarial profession. When I was in my final year of high school, my mathematics teacher suggested that I consider becoming an actuary. I had no clue as to who an actuary was or what they did—the only thing I knew for sure was that it was highly mathematical and it wasn’t teaching.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future?
The work we do in assessing the long-term sustainability of our retirement system is important to current and future Canadians. Our actuarial analysis has been instrumental in helping to drive some of the landmark changes that have happened in our retirement system. We will continue to play a vital role in identifying, evaluating, and monitoring the risks facing our retirement system and helping to shape public policies to address these issues.

Patrick Chamberland

“Investment actuaries have been a cornerstone in the evolution of the pension industry and they will continue to strengthen the financial standing of Canadians.”

Patrick Chamberland, FCIA, FSA, CFA
Air Canada
Director, Portfolio Optimization and Monitoring

Read his story

 

Patrick Chamberland, FCIA, FSA, CFA
Air Canada
Director, Portfolio Optimization and Monitoring

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
Investments. I’m part of a team investing and managing the assets of Air Canada’s pension funds. My role is to monitor the portfolios that we managed internally, which include fixed income, equity, and pure alpha [high-performing] portfolios. This includes calculating profits and losses on a real-time basis of our various strategies, and making recommendations to the investment committee with respect to the portfolio construction.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
It was a mix of luck and interest. In my first or second year of high school, we had a class on career planning and the teacher talked about a few professions, actuarial science being one of them. I forgot about it for seven or eight years until I had to choose a university program. I remembered what my teacher said about actuaries in high school. I did some research and it sounded like a fun career.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future? 
Actuaries have definitely played a role over the last decade to de-risk the pension industry in Canada as a whole, and they will continue to do so. From a governance perspective, risk management has become an important topic and a priority for most boards in Canada.

x
Rob Hinrichs, FCIA, FSA, MAAA
Hinrichs Actuarial Services
Actuary

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
I retired as chief actuary of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario in 2012. Today, while enjoying retirement, I continue as an actuarial consultant on a part-time basis. Most of my consulting work involves assisting in and inspecting the actuarial aspects of financial statement audits. I see this role continuing to expand and evolve as accountants, auditors, and actuaries adopt new International Financing Reporting Standards, in particular, IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
I was good at math and liked its applied aspects. At the beginning of my second year at university, I took five out of six math disciplines.

By the end of the year, my enthusiasm for actuarial science remained strong while many others, who had shared that same enthusiasm in the beginning, went into other disciplines.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future? 
Actuaries, more than any other group, probably best understand and can demonstrate the impacts of intergenerational equity and, more importantly, inequity. People’s lives (and their children's and grandchildren’s lives) depend on good decision-making by governments and their workers’ compensation agencies, and actuaries can play a key role in helping make this happen.

x
Angelita Graham, FCIA, FSA
Mercer Canada
Principal

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
My area of expertise is pension. I support organizations in the governance of their pension plans by providing sound actuarial advice. That means evaluating the pension promise, determining the funding requirements, and working with clients to find solutions to mitigate the risks inherent in the pension promise to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the pension plan.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
My love for mathematics led me to the actuarial profession. When I was in my final year of high school, my mathematics teacher suggested that I consider becoming an actuary. I had no clue as to who an actuary was or what they did—the only thing I knew for sure was that it was highly mathematical and it wasn’t teaching.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future?
The work we do in assessing the long-term sustainability of our retirement system is important to current and future Canadians. Our actuarial analysis has been instrumental in helping to drive some of the landmark changes that have happened in our retirement system. We will continue to play a vital role in identifying, evaluating, and monitoring the risks facing our retirement system and helping to shape public policies to address these issues.

x
Patrick Chamberland, FCIA, FSA, CFA
Air Canada
Director, Portfolio Optimization and Monitoring

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
Investments. I’m part of a team investing and managing the assets of Air Canada’s pension funds. My role is to monitor the portfolios that we managed internally, which include fixed income, equity, and pure alpha [high-performing] portfolios. This includes calculating profits and losses on a real-time basis of our various strategies, and making recommendations to the investment committee with respect to the portfolio construction.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
It was a mix of luck and interest. In my first or second year of high school, we had a class on career planning and the teacher talked about a few professions, actuarial science being one of them.

I forgot about it for seven or eight years until I had to choose a university program. I remembered what my teacher said about actuaries in high school. I did some research and it sounded like a fun career.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future? 
Actuaries have definitely played a role over the last decade to de-risk the pension industry in Canada as a whole, and they will continue to do so. From a governance perspective, risk management has become an important topic and a priority for most boards in Canada.

Catherine Jacques-Brissette

“I’m hopeful the actuarial profession can continue to play a meaningful role in assessing, adapting to, and mitigating risks related to climate change.”

Catherine Jacques-Brissette, ACIA, ASA
Bell Canada
Corporate Responsibility and Environment Specialist

Read her story

Catherine Jacques-Brissette, ACIA, ASA
Bell Canada
Corporate Responsibility and Environment Specialist

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
Climate change. It is one of these emerging areas that involves complex and pervasive risks that impact all traditional practice areas. Thus, actuaries have an interest in understanding potential short- and long-term climate change-related impacts, as these may affect the assumptions used in assessing the value of assets and liabilities, as well as operating costs.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
I always loved mathematics and I aspired to resolving challenging and complex mathematical problems. Shortly after I started university, I began appreciating the potential of actuaries’ risk management expertise in many non-traditional areas, including climate change. I found out that my actuarial background is in fact a great added value within a corporate environmental responsibility team.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future? 
Given that climate change will impact all sectors of the economy, the CIA promotes a multi-disciplinary approach and encourages a collaborative dialogue with other actuarial organizations and stakeholders outside of the actuarial profession about key issues. The skill set of the actuarial profession brings a complimentary added value and contributes to the well-being of society as a whole by helping to better elaborate risk management strategies to address the challenges posed by a changing climate.

Gary Walters

“The fact that we haven’t had anyone who’s lost money due to a life, disability, or medical insurance insurer failure in Canada in living memory is a testament to what actuaries do.”

Gary Walters, FCIA, FSA, FIA
Cedar Hill Group
Principal Consultant

Read his story

Gary Walters, FCIA, FSA, FIA
Cedar Hill Group
Principal Consultant

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
I work in the insurance of healthcare. I do consulting around group and creditor insurance for insurers, the industry, and other organizations that interact with group insurers. I analyze data and experience to help improve the insurance of employee benefit risks and help different players to understand other players’ viewpoints—like helping a provincial government understand private drug insurance.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
I majored in math, and was interested in finance and solving problems. I had worked as a clerical person in a small local life insurance company during the holidays, and the one and only actuary spent some time talking to me about what he did.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future? 
Actuaries will continue to help identify trends and costs ahead of time so that policy decisions can be made before financial pressures force quick, but not necessarily effective, solutions. One measure of success will be if we can avoid employee benefits following pensions, where plans no longer support those who need the support the most.

Michel Bédard

“As an actuary, you get to see how the decisions or the advice or the analysis you make really does impact lives.”

Michel Bédard, FCIA, FSA
Canadian Employment Insurance (EI)
Former Chief Actuary

Read his story

 

Michel Bédard, FCIA, FSA
Canadian Employment Insurance (EI)
Former Chief Actuary

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
Since the early 1970s, I was fully and only engaged with EI, a social insurance program. I worked for the Canadian Employment Insurance program from 1971 to 2003. I became its chief actuary in 1991, and retired from government in 2003. After that, I worked for the International Labour Organization and undertook a number of international assignments, including projects in China, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
I decided to become an actuary way back in the 1960s because I thrived on mathematics, logical thinking, and statistical endeavours. My mother had a cousin who was one of Canada’s first actuaries. He referred me to two actuaries in Ottawa, and my choice was made.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future? 
The Employment Insurance program in Canada remains a social insurance program, closer in concept to group insurance than to individual insurance. Though the Supreme Court of Canada has given wide leeway to the federal government in expanding the scope of the EI program, actuaries can still provide valuable input on its design, both on the benefit side and the financing side.

x
Catherine Jacques-Brissette, ACIA, ASA
Bell Canada
Corporate Responsibility and Environment Specialist

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
Climate change. It is one of these emerging areas that involves complex and pervasive risks that impact all traditional practice areas. Thus, actuaries have an interest in understanding potential short- and long-term climate change-related impacts, as these may affect the assumptions used in assessing the value of assets and liabilities, as well as operating costs.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
I always loved mathematics and I aspired to resolving challenging and complex mathematical problems. Shortly after I started university, I began appreciating the potential of actuaries’ risk management expertise in many non-traditional areas, including climate change.

I found out that my actuarial background is in fact a great added value within a corporate environmental responsibility team.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future? 
Given that climate change will impact all sectors of the economy, the CIA promotes a multi-disciplinary approach and encourages a collaborative dialogue with other actuarial organizations and stakeholders outside of the actuarial profession about key issues. The skill set of the actuarial profession brings a complimentary added value and contributes to the well-being of society as a whole by helping to better elaborate risk management strategies to address the challenges posed by a changing climate.

x
Gary Walters, FCIA, FSA, FIA
Cedar Hill Group
Principal Consultant

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
I work in the insurance of healthcare. I do consulting around group and creditor insurance for insurers, the industry, and other organizations that interact with group insurers. I analyze data and experience to help improve the insurance of employee benefit risks and help different players to understand other players’ viewpoints—like helping a provincial government understand private drug insurance.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
I majored in math, and was interested in finance and solving problems. I had worked as a clerical person in a

small local life insurance company during the holidays, and the one and only actuary spent some time talking to me about what he did.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future? 
Actuaries will continue to help identify trends and costs ahead of time so that policy decisions can be made before financial pressures force quick, but not necessarily effective, solutions. One measure of success will be if we can avoid employee benefits following pensions, where plans no longer support those who need the support the most.

x
Michel Bédard, FCIA, FSA
Canadian Employment Insurance (EI)
Former Chief Actuary

What area of focus best describes the work you do as an actuary?
Since the early 1970s, I was fully and only engaged with EI, a social insurance program. I worked for the Canadian Employment Insurance program from 1971 to 2003. I became its chief actuary in 1991, and retired from government in 2003. After that, I worked for the International Labour Organization and undertook a number of international assignments, including projects in China, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.

What about becoming an actuary appealed to you?
I decided to become an actuary way back in the 1960s because I thrived on mathematics, logical thinking, and statistical endeavours.

My mother had a cousin who was one of Canada’s first actuaries. He referred me to two actuaries in Ottawa, and my choice was made.

What role do actuaries play in shaping our country’s future? 
The Employment Insurance program in Canada remains a social insurance program, closer in concept to group insurance than to individual insurance. Though the Supreme Court of Canada has given wide leeway to the federal government in expanding the scope of the EI program, actuaries can still provide valuable input on its design, both on the benefit side and the financing side.

Discover what an actuary can do for you

Thinking about enlisting the services of an actuary? Not sure how they can help or what position they could fill? Send us your questions using the fields below. We will help you find the answer or the person with the requisite expertise.

The latest insights from the CIA

#DYK the #Canadian life expectancy is over 80 years? #Cdnhealth is thriving with help from actuaries. Learn more: CIA-ICA.ca/Canada150

For 150 years, #Canadian actuaries have been looking toward the future. Hear the full story: CIA-ICA.ca/Canada150 #Canada150

According to @HappinessRpt, #Canada is the 7th-happiest country worldwide. Which actuarial advancements make you smile? CIA-ICA.ca/Canada150

Financial stability
for Canadians

The Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) is the national, bilingual organization and voice of the actuarial profession in Canada. Its members are dedicated to providing actuarial services and advice of the highest quality. The Institute holds the duty of the profession to the public above the needs of the profession and its members.

See what drives us