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Old 11-15-2017, 03:33 PM
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Default SOA increases dues

So I just got an email from Mike Lombardi / the SOA that dues are going up.

Excerpts (which I weirdly can't copy & paste so I'm shortening to the most relevant bits) ...

Quote:
The SOA Board recently approved the 2018 Strategic Initiatives, which include projects involving InsurTech, education in international markets, and much more. [stuff about 2017 - 2021 Strategic plan, blah blah blah]

To help support all of these efforts the SOA Board approved a dues increase of $15 more for ASAs and $30 more for FSAs. Your member dues help support the SOA's mission and vision...
I thought the SOA was making money hand over fist from the exams and basically has more money than they know what to do with. Am I missing something or are they just getting even greedier?
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:36 PM
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getting even greedier?
P&C exams are expensive to administer
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:04 PM
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P&C exams are expensive to administer
Hmmm, I wonder how much they're spending developing & grading the GI exams. I presume the cost of printing & shipping them is the same as the other exams, and the proctors mostly work for free (a few exceptions for non-actuary proctors, but even that is quite cheap) so the principal costs are in developing new exams every sitting and grading them.

So few people take them that grading can't be that onerous. But creating them might be.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:07 PM
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Hmmm, I wonder how much they're spending developing & grading the GI exams. I presume the cost of printing & shipping them is the same as the other exams, and the proctors mostly work for free (a few exceptions for non-actuary proctors, but even that is quite cheap) so the principal costs are in developing new exams every sitting and grading them.

So few people take them that grading can't be that onerous. But creating them might be.
I'm mostly poking fun, though I would bet the general insurance exams have a much higher fixed expense as a percentage of exam fees compared to other exams, simply because the costs to create the exam likely don't change much but I imagine there are far more candidates taking the other exams to spread the costs around.

More seriously I'd bet they're raising fees simply because they believe they can. More money means they get to do more stuff and if you just see it as companies paying the dues without much impact to the membership you'd probably figure there will be little pushback.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:17 PM
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Well I think the fixed costs for the GI exams are much higher than the fixed costs for the other exam tracks because they're paying CAS members to write & grade the GI exams, whereas the other exams are written & graded by SOA member volunteers.

CAS members like to remind us that they make a lot more money than we do, and I assume that working for the enemy probably commands premium pay so I'm guessing they're paying those CAS members a lot.

Perhaps it doesn't command as big a premium for Canadian P&C actuaries or ones working in academia though... 'twould be interesting to see how much they're paying out each year at any rate. I assume far more than they're bringing in.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:21 PM
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Though you'd think if it's just the GI exams with a high expense load then it makes more sense to simply raise the GI fees? Unless the intention is for the rest of the SOA to subsidize the GI program until it's larger, which may be the case.

I'd still think much of it is a feeling of: more money = more activities and what's the point in actively being a part of a society like the SOA/CAS if you can't do activities with a feeling that there won't be much pushback since members pay for it, at best, indirectly
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:26 PM
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Though you'd think if it's just the GI exams with a high expense load then it makes more sense to simply raise the GI fees? Unless the intention is for the rest of the SOA to subsidize the GI program until it's larger, which may be the case.

I'd still think much of it is a feeling of: more money = more activities and what's the point in actively being a part of a society like the SOA/CAS if you can't do activities with a feeling that there won't be much pushback since members pay for it, at best, indirectly
The intention is to make it look like the SOA knows what they heck they're doing in GI-land, and charging more for the exams definitely doesn't fit in with that narrative.

I think the true GI believers think that any day now the GI track will be self sufficient. Remember, they're trying to get rid of the CAS altogether.

I'm sure that you're right, however, that the dues increase isn't solely - or even primarily - about the GI track. My sense from Bruce is that in aggregate they are making tons of money on the exams and overall exams are quite profitable, even though the GI track is losing a bunch of money.

Bruce has mentioned that the SOA should really reduce exam fees, but they like to have lots of money in the coffers so they don't.

I'm skeptical that the increase in dues is really about more activities though, since they are sitting on that humongous pile of cash. They shouldn't need to charge us more to greatly increase the activities.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:28 PM
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Well I think the fixed costs for the GI exams are much higher than the fixed costs for the other exam tracks because they're paying CAS members to write & grade the GI exams, whereas the other exams are written & graded by SOA member volunteers.
Source? I think I had heard they paid some study material authors, but believe they on occasion pay authors of study material for material for more traditional SOA exams. They do reimburse travel expenses for graders, which would be higher per exam than for SOA exams with more candidates.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:29 PM
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more money is better than less money
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:30 PM
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Bruce has mentioned that the SOA should really reduce exam fees, but they like to have lots of money in the coffers so they don't.

I'm skeptical that the increase in dues is really about more activities though, since they are sitting on that humongous pile of cash. They shouldn't need to charge us more to greatly increase the activities.
Yeah I'd certainly be an advocate of reduced exam fees since, in theory, it should result in some sort of increase in my pay. I struggle to come up with a solid speculation for why a society would decide to sit on lots of cash...
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