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Old 01-24-2018, 02:44 PM
Pellican Pellican is offline
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Hello,

I am an ASA candidate (P, FM, MFE passed) with 2 years of Employee Benefits underwriting experience. It will likely be about 2 years until I receive an ASA.

My company wants to groom me as an actuary, or at least said so much when I started here.

My question is this: is it possible to earn an ASA and develop as an actuary without a direct mentor? Do the initials mean nothing without learning under an actuary, or are there enough resources out there to do it myself over time?

If it's possible to blaze my own trail as an EB ASA, and if others have done so, I would appreciate insight into how that is best done.
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Pellican View Post
Hello,

I am an ASA candidate (P, FM, MFE passed) with 2 years of Employee Benefits underwriting experience. It will likely be about 2 years until I receive an ASA.

My company wants to groom me as an actuary, or at least said so much when I started here.

My question is this: is it possible to earn an ASA and develop as an actuary without a direct mentor? Do the initials mean nothing without learning under an actuary, or are there enough resources out there to do it myself over time?

If it's possible to blaze my own trail as an EB ASA, and if others have done so, I would appreciate insight into how that is best done.
Yikes
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:05 PM
cowactuary cowactuary is offline
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The ASA doesn’t get you signature authority, the MAAA does. To get that, you need to be ASA and have work experience under a credentialed actuary.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:12 PM
Pellican Pellican is offline
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This is great feedback -- thank you for your response. Looks like I need to dive into MAAA requirements.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:33 PM
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ALivelySedative ALivelySedative is offline
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The ASA doesn’t get you signature authority, the MAAA does. To get that, you need to be ASA and have work experience under a credentialed actuary.
link for the bolded? not listed here:
http://dev.actuary.org/category/site...p-requirements
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:48 PM
actexp actexp is offline
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Experience requirements are part of the Qualification Standards for Actuaries Issuing Stmts of Opinion in the U. S. It's on the Academy website, and I'd imagine many others.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:52 PM
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The ASA doesn’t get you signature authority, the MAAA does. To get that, you need to be ASA and have work experience under a credentialed actuary.
That is both technically and practically incorrect. Anyone can call themselves an actuary and sign something. Some states and/or national regulations require specific designations and specific work experience requirements to sign specific items, but that is not universally true.

If you are subject to the US Qualification Standards, you must meet the definition of a Qualified Actuary to sign a Statement of Actuarial Opinion, which does have an experience requirement. But if you are not subject to the US Qualification Standards, again, you are free to sign something and call it an SAO without any qualifications whatsoever.

However, if you want to be an actuary in the employee benefits field (meaning pensions, technically health benefits are employee benefits but this phrase almost always refers to pensions) you need to be able to sign a Schedule B so you need to be an Enrolled Actuary. The EA designation also requires a 3-year responsible work experience requirement under the direction of a qualified EA. It is possible for the EA to be a consultant so if you are preparing valuations and schedule Bs that are signed by someone else, that person could attest to your experience.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:57 PM
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This is great feedback -- thank you for your response. Looks like I need to dive into MAAA requirements.
You should focus on the EA requirements first, but I usually tell people in the pension field that if there is even the slightest possibility of wanting to work as an actuary outside of pensions, or even outside of a consulting for small pension plans, you are probably better served to try to get your ASA than just the EA. EA is only sufficient for a niche field which is inside of an already niche field, but I know of quite a few successful EA only actuaries.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:03 PM
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ronaldy27 ronaldy27 is offline
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If you're in a non-traditional actuarial field, and your immediate manager isn't an actuary, would this be a problem when you apply for a designation (ACAS or FCAS), after satisfying the exam requirement(s)?

I did hear in the past how the application requires two FCAS signatures or is this plain bs?
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ronaldy27 View Post
If you're in a non-traditional actuarial field, and your immediate manager isn't an actuary, would this be a problem when you apply for a designation (ACAS or FCAS), after satisfying the exam requirement(s)?

I did hear in the past how the application requires two FCAS signatures or is this plain bs?
IIRC, there are exceptions for non-traditional fields, but having an FCAS sign your AAA application would imply casualty experience, which is traditional, no?
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