SA4 topical issues

Discussion in 'SA4' started by Gresham Arnold, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Gresham Arnold

    Gresham Arnold ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    It is important that Subject SA4 students take the opportunity to keep abreast of current developments in pensions. It is possible that some exam questions may cover topical issues that are not covered explicitly by the Course Notes alone.

    We've produced a document about topical issues and this is attached as a pdf. It provides a brief summary of a number of issues and weblinks to further sources of information.

    Please use this thread to add any comments about topical issues and recommend any useful sources of further information.

    Gresham
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Stuart Underwood

    Stuart Underwood ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    SA4 topical issues 2012

    It is important that Subject SA4 students take the opportunity to keep abreast of current developments in pensions. It is possible that some exam questions may cover topical issues that are not covered explicitly by the Course Notes alone.

    We've produced a document about topical issues and this is attached as a pdf. It provides a brief summary of a number of issues and weblinks to further sources of information.

    Please use this thread to add any comments about topical issues and recommend any useful sources of further information.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Stuart Underwood

    Stuart Underwood ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    Topical issues

    It is important that Subject SA4 students take the opportunity to keep abreast of current developments in pensions. It is possible that some exam questions may cover topical issues that are not covered explicitly by the Course Notes alone.

    We've produced a document about topical issues and this is attached as a pdf. It provides a brief summary of a number of issues and weblinks to further sources of information.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Stuart Underwood

    Stuart Underwood ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    SA4 topical issues 2014

    It is important that Subject SA4 students take the opportunity to keep abreast of current developments in pensions. It is possible that some exam questions may cover topical issues that are not covered explicitly by the Course Notes alone.

    We've produced a document about topical issues and this is attached as a pdf. It provides a brief summary of a number of issues and weblinks to further sources of information.

    Please use this thread to add any comments about topical issues and recommend any useful sources of further information.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Gresham Arnold

    Gresham Arnold ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    Hi SA4ers

    It is important that you take the opportunity to keep abreast of current developments in pensions. It is possible that some exam questions may be based on topical issues that are not discussed in detail in the Course Notes.

    We've produced a document about such topical issues and this is attached as a pdf. It provides a brief summary of a number of issues and weblinks to further sources of information.

    Please use this thread to add any comments about topical issues and recommend any useful sources of further information.

    Best wishes

    Gresham
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Stuart Underwood

    Stuart Underwood ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    It is important that you take the opportunity to keep abreast of current developments in pensions. It is possible that some exam questions may be based on topical issues that are not discussed in detail in the Course Notes.

    We've produced a document about such topical issues and this is attached as a pdf. It provides a brief summary of a number of issues and weblinks to further sources of information.

    Please use this thread to add any comments about topical issues and recommend any useful sources of further information.

    Best wishes

    Stuart
     

    Attached Files:

    sandmak likes this.
  7. Stuart Underwood

    Stuart Underwood ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    It is important that you take the opportunity to keep abreast of current developments in pensions. It is possible that some exam questions may be based on topical issues that are not discussed in detail in the Course Notes.

    We've produced a document about such topical issues and this is attached as a pdf. It provides a brief summary of a number of issues and weblinks to further sources of information.

    Best wishes

    Stuart
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Gresham Arnold

    Gresham Arnold ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    I've had one or two queries from students about topical issues for SA4. Looking at the ActEd Topical Issues document published in Feb 2017 (above) it seems to me that many of the topics listed are still relevant now. In addition, since that was published we've seen:

    1) Action to deal with the British Steel Pension Scheme. There is lots of commentary online and this website is a useful source of information: http://bspensionschoose.com/index.html

    2) In Feb 2017 the DWP published a Green Paper on security and sustainability of DB pensions. The paper itself is pretty long but can be downloaded from here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consu...t-pension-schemes-security-and-sustainability. There is lots of commentary online about key issues described in the paper.

    3) The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association DB taskforce published a report in Sept 2017 about options to help pension schemes address challenges including that of underfunding and weak sponsor covenant. The report (and earlier reports) can be found here:
    https://www.plsa.co.uk/Policy-and-Research-Defined-Benefit-DB-Taskforce

    What else is topical at present?
     
  9. NEynon

    NEynon Made first post

    Hi, are we expecting to see similar current issues for pensions under the new SA4 curriculum? I’m finding it difficult to isolate past paper questions that would work under this new course - is it fair to take any past question not wholely UK specific and make it generic?
     
  10. Gresham Arnold

    Gresham Arnold ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    Hi NEynon

    I agree that many / most past questions are still applicable to the new curriculum. As you say, there are a few parts of questions that tested UK specific details that are no longer in the course and so these questions are no longer relevant, but the vast majority of questions are still applicable.

    Bear in mind that the Core Reading still contains quite a lot of UK specific detail and so you could still include this in your answers to questions, expressing the UK specifics as examples of broad principles.

    Have you looked at the IFoA's specimen exam paper for SA4? It can be found here: https://www.actuaries.org.uk/studying/curriculum-2019/pensions-and-other-benefits

    The specimen paper comprises old past questions, which have been modified to reduce the UK focus. This suggests to me that past papers are still relevant.

    The original questions are referenced in the specimen paper, so you can compare the specimen exam questions and solutions with the original questions and solutions to get a sense of how the IFoA thinks the style of questions and solutions might change.

    Re current issues: In short, we don't know the extent to which the new curriculum will test current issues.

    Personally, I reckon topical issues which are UK specific (eg GMP equalisation!) are now less likely to be tested. I think there is certainly no harm in reading around the subject, as long as it is not to the detriment of other exam preparations such as learning Core Reading and practising past questions, which are arguably higher priority.

    If I were to look at topical issues, I would look at issues which are not UK specific. So for example, collective DC schemes (CDCs) are topical in the UK because of Royal Mail's proposals, but CDCs as a concept are well established in the Netherlands and Denmark. I would also look at issues which are not UK specific and have been perennially tested such as funding and sponsor covenant.

    I hope that helps
    Gresham
     
    NEynon likes this.
  11. Justine Peggs

    Justine Peggs ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    Although the Subject SA4 exam no longer has a UK emphasis, it can be useful to keep up to date on current developments in the UK as these can form the basis of topical exam questions. This should not replace the need to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the concepts covered in the Core Reading.

    The following may be helpful in reading up on current developments:

    TPR’s website; such as the homepage, press releases and library area respectively.
    https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk
    https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/media-hub/press-releases
    https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/document-library
    For example:
    • TPR’s 2019 defined benefit funding statement can be found in the ‘Statements’ area of the library and briefly describes a review of the funding code of practice.
    • TPR’s guidance on the setting up and running of DB Superfunds can be found in the ‘Regulatory guidance’ area of the library.
    The IFoA’s website; such as the homepage and pensions practice area respectively:
    https://www.actuaries.org.uk
    https://www.actuaries.org.uk/practice-areas/pensions

    The parliament website; such as the homepage and the bills page respectively (pensions bills can usually be found under the letter ‘p’ on the bills page):
    https://www.parliament.uk/
    https://services.parliament.uk/bills

    The Staple Inn Actuarial Society (SIAS): https://www.sias.org.uk

    'The Actuary’ magazine and website: http://www.theactuary.com
     

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