What does an actuary do?
Life is beset with risks. Risks that are difficult to estimate but may have great financial consequences. Indeed, nobody knows beforehand when a fire or a storm will break out. Nor can the behaviour of fellow road users be predicted. Actuaries determine the chance of such risks occurring, and establish their financial consequences.
Other fields of actuary activity are pensions and social provisions. For instance, it is for actuaries to consider how to overcome a pension gap or how to introduce a flexible retirement age. Other relevant matters for actuaries to contemplate are the sustainability of Old-Age Pensions in the face of the progressively aging population, and the financial consequences of linking wages and benefits. Actuaries are also the persons from which solutions for financial problems ensuing from DNA-manipulation by medical science are expected.
In whatever area the actuary is occupied, his principal technique is always to look systematically into the future, make predictions, and translate them into financial consequences. So, in essence, an actuary is a creative problem solver who occupies himself with the future on the basis of the past.
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