How do I Become a Pensions Actuary?

In the United States, becoming a pensions actuary necessitates a significant amount of study time and passing a number of exams. A four-year degree in business, economics, or actuarial science is common among actuaries. Although a degree is not required, passing the exams requires a thorough understanding of advanced mathematics. During the early stages of their careers, all actuaries will face five actuarial exams, regardless of which career path they choose. Those interested in becoming a pensions actuary should join the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and complete their set of exams after passing these five exams.

The first five exams, which last two and a half to three and a half hours each, are required of those who want to become a pensions actuary. Preliminary Actuarial Examinations, a joint operation of the SOA and the Casualty Actuarial Society, proctors them (CAS). The first exam that all actuaries take focuses on probability laws. The second and third exams, which cover topics like calculus, probability, interest rate models, simulation, and risk management, are made up of financial mathematics and financial economics. Statistics, life contingencies, and actuarial models are covered in the final two exams.

After passing the first five exams, the Validation of Education Experience is the next step in the process of becoming a pensions actuary (VEE). Candidates must show that they understand basic economics, applied statistics, and corporate finance. This knowledge can be verified documenting the completion of each college course with a B- or higher grade. Candidates must also pass a standardized test in each subject.

Those interested in becoming a pensions actuary must earn associate membership status with the SOA after completing VEE. This is contingent on passing the Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice e-learning course, which consists of eight lessons and two exams. While there are five options for completing this requirement, those interested in becoming a pensions actuary should take the retirement benefits path. Retirement benefit design, financial and health economics, social insurance, and investment strategy are just a few of the topics covered.

The final step in the process of becoming a pension actuary is to become an enrolled actuary. A license from the Joint Board of the Departments of the Treasury and Labor is required for this position. Two exams must be passed, as well as exceptional performance in the field of actuarial science. Human resource consulting firms, law firms, government organizations, and other financial institutions employ enrolled actuaries.