In response to the outbreak of coronavirus, the Institute has formed the COVID-19 Working Group to assist business, government and the broader community understand the nature and impacts of the pandemic.
Jennifer Lang is leading the Working Group, unlocking the profession’s skillset to bring objectivity to the discussions and debates stemming from COVID-19.
In the latest edition of the Actuaries Institute podcast, Jennifer joins Institute Head of Public Policy John McLenaghan to discuss the basis of forming the Working Group, its key areas of focus, and how Institute Members can contribute.
Setting the context, John asked Jennifer to outline the makeup and structure of the COVID-19 Working Group.
“I spent a bit of time thinking about what we should be doing, and there’s two big picture things we should be doing. We should be supporting our membership, and we should be supporting society in ways that we can do best,” Jennifer said.
The Working Group has 16 members representing various actuarial practice areas, such as life insurance, health insurance, superannuation and general insurance. All of which, are affected by the pandemic crisis.
“The great thing about the profession is it’s full of people who are really interested in helping,” Jennifer said.
Key focus of the COVID-19 Working Group
A key focus of the Working Group is to consider what the profession needss to manage the impacts of COVID-19, on their businesses. With the help of Institute staff, the Working Group set up the Pandemics Resource Centre, which brings together coronavirus-related content designed to inform and assist actuaries in their roles.
“As part of that, we’ve been developing pandemic briefing notes for each of the key practice areas. So, a briefing note for people supporting life and general insurers, risk management and superannuation practitioners,” Jennifer explained.
In addition, the Pandemic Resource Centre contains links to the latest COVID-19 articles, discussion forums, and links to events, all of which are suitable for all.
The COVID-19 Working Group is also driven to support the community and society more broadly.
“Nobody really knows what’s going to happen with COVID-19. So, the more we can say, ‘Here’s what we think is going to happen. Here’s the assumptions we’ve made. Let’s make sure that we test those assumptions really well, and then change, tweak, move, depending on what we learn about what actually happens with this new disease that nobody really understands yet’, I think that’s the kind of framework that we can add to the conversation,” Jennifer said.
There still plenty of ways Members and the actuarial community can get involved in the work surrounding COVID-19.
These include participating in the discussion forums in the Pandemics Resource Centre, taking part in future Insights Sessions, or by leaving a comment on this podcast or through the COVID-19 Blog on Actuaries Digital.
“The whole point of this working group is to support the membership, so we need to make sure that we’re doing the things that the membership would like us to do,” Jennifer said.
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