UK - Actuaries have warned the government that it must ensure "suitable" firms enter the market if the sector is deregulated.
Earlier this year, the government asked former Competition Commission chairman Sir Derek Morris to conduct an inquiry into the Actuarial Profession following the Penrose Report into the demise of Equitable Life.
In its submission to Morris, the Actuarial Profession said that it would have no objection to others entering the market provided they had the appropriate skills and expertise.
However, the Profession says that as regulators will want the security of nowing that someone suitable is carrying out the work, all competitors will need to be controlled by the establishment of recognised bodies which determine appropriate qualifications and standards for alternative practitioners.
The Actuarial Profession is currently the only recognised body for pensions and insurance work.
Since the start of the year, the Actuarial Profession has created an independent actuarial standards board, overhauled its disciplinary scheme and introduced a broader education syllabus for trainees. It has also introduced peer review across all the main areas of actuarial work and started demanding regular revalidation of professional competence.
Mike Pomery and Harvie Brown - presidents of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries respectively - said: “The Profession is already well prepared to learn from the skills and experience of other disciplines and is entirely confident it can compete successfully in a more open, less paternalistic business environment.”
Watson Wyatt partner Paul Thornton said actuaries must be allowed to help schemes cope with their funding problems.
He said: “In these difficult circumstances, advice from consulting actuaries has been very important in enabling schemes to continue.
“We are confident that the review will allow actuaries to carry on assisting trustees and scheme sponsors to provide final salary pension schemes.”
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