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The Role and Responsibilities of an Actuary

what is the role of an actuary

By Exforsys | on October 15, 2006 | Comments:

The Role and Responsibilities of an Actuary

The daily job duties which an actuary must complete are quite vast and varied. This individual wears many hats and must be adept with completing various tasks on a daily basis. Although many individuals may be unaware of the responsibilities which an actuary takes on in their job role, the position of actuary is one of an important nature.

What Is An Actuary?

An actuary deals with the business of insurance and is responsible for many areas under the broad category of insurance. The actuary is an individual who will analyze important data such as mortality, sickness, injury and disability rates and use that information to aid those involved with insurance. An actuary is responsible for collecting the data to forecast future risks and see how these predictions will affect various aspects of insurance.

General Responsibilities of an Actuary

One who accepts the role of actuary is responsible for a multitude of items. They will review statistical information relating to rates dealing with mortality, sickness, accidents, disability and retirement. They will take the information that they obtain from reviewing statistical data and relay the information to individuals who need such items to successfully pursue insurance-related interests. The general role of the actuary is to compile the data which they collect in such a manner that it helps companies deal with payment and coverage issues.

Specific Duties of an Actuary

There are a variety of specific duties which an actuary must carry out on a daily basis. The first duty which an actuary must undertake in their job role is to review a variety of documents. These documents relate to statistical information, insurance plans, annuity plans, pension plans, contracts and company policies. The overall goal in reviewing these various document is to construct guidelines for which the companies can follow with their customers and employees.

Once the actuary has reviewed all of the pertinent documents, the individual must then construct concise tables evidencing the results of the intense document review. The tables will diagram the statistical evidence as well as highlight the recommended route to pursue with regard to disbursements, premiums and retirement funds.

An additional specific duty of an actuary is to determine company policy and explain such policy and its aspects to those who will benefit from it. The actuary may also work on the policy so that it adequately works to benefit those affected by the policy.

An actuary may also do consulting work and help various companies with their statistical needs and company policy construction. One who is an actuary may work for a specific corporation or many different companies and corporations.

Actuaries may also be asked to testify as expert witnesses in various forms of litigation. Their testimony most often relates to the lifetime earnings an individual would have seen based on a variety of factors.

One who fulfills the role of an actuary may also have to testify before public agencies with regard to new or revised legislation affecting the companies and corporations which it works for. This frequently occurs when a new law is about to be passed or the company wishes a particular piece of legislation to become


The actuary is also the go to individual for any questions relating to their job responsibilities asked by the customers of the company. If the questions are best answered by the actuary, then he/she will do so in order to present straightforward information to the public.

An actuary must also develop mathematical ideas and formulas so that the proper data can be assessed. The actuary must use his/her mathematical abilities to format equations which will aid in the resolution of an issue.

Traits Which All Actuaries Should Possess

There are many beneficial traits which an actuary should possess. First and foremost, an actuary needs to possess wonderful mathematical skills. Since they will be dealing a great deal with statistical equations and data, having such mathematical skills will help them to excel in their job responsibilities.

Good analytical skills are another important trait which an actuary should possess as it will help them in their job role. As they will need to analyze a variety of documents, having analytical skills which are more than adequate will greatly benefit them in the long run.

An actuary is an individual who should possess good public speaking skills as well. In their daily job duties, not only will they need to analyze documents and data but they will also have to report such data results to company officials and members of the public. Therefore, in order to best get their opinions and conclusions across in a straightforward, easy to understand manner, good public speaking skills should be a prerequisite to taking on the role of actuary.

Creativity is something which actuaries should possess. From time to time, they will need to aid company officials in the drafting of company policy and make changes to the policy. With a little bit of creativity, an actuary will be able to take the documentation and put such a spin on it that it is formed into a proper and valid policy.

One who is an actuary should also have wonderful research skills. Since many of the documents that they need to analyze will not just pop into their laps, it is important that actuaries can do good research and find out what they need to know with regard to statistics and pertinent documents in an efficient and expedient manner.

An actuary should also have good working computer skills. Since much of their work will involve computers, it is important that the actuary not only be familiar with computers but know how to maneuver around with them as well.

Comprehension skills are also a necessary component for all actuaries to possess. The actuary is an individual who in their job role will need to analyze and interpret often-complex documents and laws as well. If one has excellent comprehension skills they will be able to do their job that much better.


An actuary is an individual who has many duties and responsibilities concomitant to their position. If one in this job role has excellent analytical, comprehension, mathematical and public speaking skills, they will most likely be individuals who excel at their job and produce the highest quality work product possible. If one has all of these aforementioned skills, the position of actuary may be the perfect one to fill.

Category: Insurance

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