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Government Actuary's Department services

Updated 13 October 2016

Actuaries provide analysis and commentary on complex problems involving risk and uncertainty. At the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) our mission is to support effective decision-making and robust reporting within government as the first choice provider of actuarial and specialist analysis, advice and assurance.

We work in a range of areas:

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For more information please email to discuss your requirements or our capabilities further.

Pensions and Social Security

Pensions advice makes up a significant proportion of our work, including policy advice to government departments; advice to scheme sponsors, managers and trustees; scheme design work; and measuring pension scheme costs.

Public service pension schemes

GAD provides actuarial advice to all the main UK public service pension schemes, including some of the largest pension schemes in the country. Our advice impacts on a significant proportion of the population, covering around 13 million members in total.

We advise and assist government departments on pension scheme policy and implementation. We also carry out regular actuarial valuations to measure scheme costs, provide financial information for pension scheme annual accounts, and maintain and update scheme actuarial factors.

Key services: pension policy advice; assessment of scheme costs; valuation of scheme liabilities; and benefit design.

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Funded pension schemes

GAD advises funded occupational pension schemes (those which have a pool of assets backing the liabilities) in the wider public sector. This work includes consultancy services for trustees of schemes; advice to sponsors; and strategic benefit and investment reviews.

Key services: scheme actuary advice; compliance services; trustee consulting services; scheme design; accounting for pension costs; and strategic investment reviews.

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Pensions policy, regulation and supervision

GAD carries out actuarial analysis for government departments and public bodies to provide input to policy development, working with colleagues in other government departments. Drawing on our actuarial knowledge, wide-ranging experience, and our understanding of practical pensions issues, we are strongly placed to give technical and analytical advice on pensions issues which recognises the broader policy context.

Key services: reform of public sector pension schemes; structure and operation of the Financial Assistance Scheme; annuity rate tables for income drawdown; and the Fair Deal staff transfer policy.

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Staff transfers

GAD provides advice to public sector bodies on the pension aspects of any projects where the pension arrangements of staff are to be changed. Please see our staff transfers webpage for guidance.

Key services: broad comparability assessments; advice on potential bulk transfer shortfall costs; assistance on communications with staff; liaising with pensions administrators, lawyers and other advisers; and finalising pension transfer arrangements.

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Social security

GAD provides regular reports to parliament on the financial position of National Insurance Fund (“the Fund”) as required by legislation. These include an annual report concerning the impact on the Fund of the proposed up rating of benefits or changes in contributions, and a report every five years which estimates the balance of the Fund over the longer term.

We also provide advice to social security organisations in other countries.

Key services: demographic projections; advice on financial implications of policy decisions; and assessment social security schemes’ financial position and future contribution requirements.

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Insurance and Investment

Beyond our core role of the provision of pensions-focused analysis and advice, GAD offers actuarial insight in the broader arena of risk analysis and management, specifically in insurance and investment. The projects we engage in range from advising on relatively small issues to providing long term and large scale support for major projects.

Insurance and risk transfer

GAD provides actuarial advice to government departments, public bodies and local authorities on life, general and health insurance related matters. We value contingent liabilities and provide advice on the underlying risks, which might arise from self-insurance or risk transfer schemes. We also assist in managing financial risks and, where our actuarial and insurance expertise is relevant, in developing government policy. Our analysis and advice apply to a wide range of challenges from climate change to social care funding.

Key services: valuation of contingent liabilities; advice on financing solutions for high impact, low probability events; reviews of compulsory insurance arrangements; and analysis of the impact of climate change

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Investment and risk

GAD provide advice on investment aspects of pensions and insurance as well as undertaking specialist projects on the management of risk within UK government departments and financial institutions. GAD undertakes a wide variety of assignments for public sector bodies on issues such as investment strategy, risk modelling, and project risk management.

Key services: fund manager selection; asset liability modelling; risk modelling and quantification; and project and enterprise risk.

We also produce monthly newsletters summarising the latest market and economic news and providing a brief article on a topic of interest. Past editions of these can be found in our investment and risk updates section.

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Modelling and Quality Assurance

GAD provides advice on financial and demographic modelling as well as other bespoke modelling services.

As well as providing assurance on existing models, we help with full model specification and building, all the way through to interpretation and communication of results.

Key services: model assurance; assistance and advice; and complete provision from model design to meaningful outputs.

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