The Washington Beat

Actuaries Ready to Advise Administration, Congress on Financial Security Issues

Providing the ‘benefit of actuarial perspectives’ on issues such as health insurance, prescription drug costs, retirement

WASHINGTON—The American Academy of Actuaries will continue to offer public policymakers unique insights on financial security and risk issues from the U.S. actuarial profession’s perspective as legislative and regulatory efforts in Washington come into focus after President Trump’s State of the Union address.

“The Academy has a long-established, well-respected track record of effectively working with policymakers on a nonpartisan basis to provide objective, actuarially informed analysis of insurance, pension, and other financial security and risk issues that impact Americans deeply,” said Academy President Shawna Ackerman. “With the benefit of actuarial perspectives on issues such as health insurance, prescription drug costs, retirement security, and climate risk, legislators and regulators are better able to make the most informed decisions possible for good public policy outcomes. The Academy stands ready to contribute its relevant expertise to the development of sound policy after the State of the Union address and throughout the 116th Congress.”

A Full Agenda, Including Financial Regulatory Reform

Already the Academy is arranging meetings this spring between its volunteers and congressional and federal agency offices to discuss health and pension policy issues. The Academy plans to engage congressional and federal agency offices on a variety of other issues in 2019, including climate risk, flood insurance, and financial regulatory reform, and to provide written actuarial analyses on financial security and risk issues. The Academy’s extensive work on many issues that have received, or could receive, attention on Capitol Hill and from the Trump administration this year includes:

The rising costs of health care services and prescription drugs and how to address them. In March 2018, the Academy hosted a Hill briefing on the analysis contained in its issue brief, Prescription Drug Spending in the U.S. Health Care System: An Actuarial Perspective. In fall 2018, the Academy released research on the potential cost savings for health care services that could be realized through reference pricing.

The Academy stands ready to contribute its relevant expertise to the development of sound policy after the State of the Union address and throughout the 116th Congress...

The risks to multiemployer pension plans, their beneficiaries, plan sponsors, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and the policy options available to financially stabilize plans and the system. In 2018, the Academy testified before the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, and provided extensive answers to follow-up questions from the committee. The Academy’s Pension Practice Council continues in its efforts to help address the system’s challenges.

A Viable Social Security & Medicare

The financial condition and sustainability of Social Security and Medicare based on the 2018 trustees’ reports. The expansion of association health plans, short-term, limited-duration insurance, and health reimbursement arrangements, and how these and other regulatory or legislative changes could affect risk pools, coverage, premiums, and health insurance markets.

The need to modernize the country’s retirement system and provide lifetime income options for the country’s aging population. If new legislation or regulations to improve retirement security are considered, the Academy can explain the available options in the context of the increasingly defined-contribution dominated retirement system, including lifetime income options.

The financial challenges facing the National Flood Insurance Program, and specific insurance market, technological, and other developments that Congress should take into account as it considers reauthorizing the program beyond May 31.
Climate trends, on which the user-friendly Actuaries Climate Index® provides objective information. The Actuaries Climate Risk Index, a second index correlating climate risks to economic losses and other impacts, is under development with release planned for later this year.

Insurer solvency and domestic and international insurance regulation.

Learn more about the Academy’s work on these and other public policy issues under the “Public Policy” tab at




About the American Academy of Actuaries
The American Academy of Actuaries is a 19,500 member professional association whose mission is to serve the public and the U.S. actuarial profession. For more than 50 years, the Academy has assisted public policymakers on all levels by providing leadership, objective expertise, and actuarial advice on risk and financial security issues. The Academy also sets qualification, practice, and professionalism standards for actuaries in the United States.