Posted: 14 October 2023
The Association of Consulting Actuaries was formed over 70 years ago. Its evolution was documented in a short history of the Association, written by Ron Abbott and published in October 1991 to mark its 40th anniversary. The document appears in PAT’s archive collections.
It is difficult now to imagine pensions without the ACA, but its establishment was not without controversy. The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries were concerned that it might interfere with their regulation of the actuarial profession. There were debates about membership eligibility and changes to the fledgling Association’s constitution. As proposals on tax and social security began to emerge from all sides of the political spectrum, there was protracted discussion about whether the ACA had authority to respond.
It was not until 1959 that the Institute and Faculty conceded that the ACA’s Chairman might write to the press and the Association enter discussions with government departments on pensions matters. This breakthrough allowed the ACA to contribute to the pension system which developed in the 1970’s, with its key components of discretionary tax approval, preservation and contracting out, and to engage with the weight of regulation which followed.
Thanks are due to the foresight and persistence of the ACA’s early members-and to the other industry bodies whose activities are documented in our archive. Without them the national pensions conversation would have been much poorer. It would certainly have been less well informed.
Pensions Archive Trust Director, Jane Marshall
This article was first published in the October 2023 edition of Pensions Age magazine.