The Actuarial Profession in Cyprus

The actuarial profession in Cyprus has reached its highest point as yet. All of the major life insurance companies have at least one full-time internal actuary on staff, and most of the pension funds maintain local actuarial services. While still few in number, from a country of 760,000 inhabitants, local CAA members are extremely active in national as well as international activities. Through their employers or the association, CAA members have organized conferences and presented papers on the role of the actuary and actuarial methodologies. On the international stage, many participate in conferences and are committee members for international organizations such as the Groupe Consultatif.

Cyprus Association of Actuaries' involvement in the international scene was further enhanced by the appointment to host the IFAA Executive Council meeting held in January 1998 receiving 35 actuaries from 30 countries including Japan, Australia, and North America, as well as its selection to host the Groupe Consultatif's Annual General Meeting in 2005.

While the CAA and its members are recognized and respected in both the private and public sectors, the need for the establishment of the legal framework within which the profession can operate is still to be set. Advancement has been made now that the concept of an internal actuary and periodic pensions valuations have been accepted, and the association is now consulted by the government and/or regulatory bodies and other organizations on a formal and regular basis. Nevertheless, the CAA continues to work with the government in defining the association's statutory role in both insurance supervision and occupational pension schemes.

The implementation process of the Cyprus insurance law, which incorporates the related European Union directives, triggered more formal involvement of the CAA. Since 1998 the association reviewed and made recommendations concerning special issues within the new law upon request of the Cyprus government. Special committees within the CAA were established to examine the regulations regarding solvency margins, annual returns, valuation reports, information to policyholders, approved assets and admissibility rules, and definition of the Appointed and Internal Actuary. Most notably, the new legislation states the qualifications and role of the Appointed and Internal actuary, however does not enforce any regarding pension or non-life actuaries. In fact, to become an Appointed Actuary special approval from the government supervisor is required with a prerequisite that the applicant has attained Fellowship of a full member association of the GC or IAA. The new insurance law was effected January 1, 2003.