An actuary is the brain behind assessing the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. He or she is qualified to determine the effects of future accidental events, calculate the value of life interests and insurance risks, analyse risks in different areas of insurance, design various policies and determine the price, calculate the benefits by recommending rates relating to insurance business, annuities, insurance and pension.
According to Khushwant Pahwa, founder and consulting actuary, KPAC, “Actuaries are people who use their mathematical, statistical and analytical skills along with excellent business awareness to help make sensible decisions about the future. Their communication skills should be very strong, and they should be proficient in using various computer programmes. Actuarial sciences involve practical application of concepts and not just theoretical knowledge.”
The work of an actuary varies from designing the benefits to be paid for various insurance or pension plans to calculating the premium to be charged from policy holders, and the reserves a company should set aside for policies it has sold. They devise investment strategies and analyse the performance of the company in various areas and fix the bonuses to be paid to insurance policyholders.
The Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI) is the sole professional body for actuarial studies in India. It conducts examinations in four stages - the core technical stage, core application stage, specialist technical stage and specialist application stage. After clearing a total of 15 examinations, one becomes a fellow of IAI and a fully-qualified actuary. To become a student member of IAI, one should have passed Class 12 with English as a subject, and cleared an actuarial common entrance test
“The need for qualified actuaries in India has gone up with an increase in number of life insurance as well as general insurance companies in India. The pay scale increases once a significant number of examinations have been cleared and after one has gained experience of about five to seven years,” adds Pahwa.
All about numbers
Actuaries must devise investment strategies besides designing benefits to be paid for various financial plans
Rs. I take home
Rs. 25 lakh- Rs. 30 lakh per annum
I love my job because...
This field engages my brain technically and offers me good money, respect, as well as the ability to make a difference
An actuary should have proficient communication skills as well as sound business awareness.
Without these skills, he or she would just be rendered a number cruncher. The pay scales increase with experience and number of examinations one clears