Tell us about your team, Emily.

I’ve worked in our longevity team for a few years now and we’ve just become part of a newly-formed team looking at all areas of Insurance Risk, but our main focus is definitely longevity at the moment. There are some really friendly and talented personalities in the team; it’s a great place to work!

What do you enjoy about your role?

It’s quite a niche, unique role. You get all the advantages of working for the UK’s largest closed life fund consolidator (and our fantastic employee benefits!), but you’re also gaining great experience of pricing techniques within the annuity market. There’s very little “handle turning” in this role; you need to be self-motivated as you’re often looking through the latest research and working papers to identify best practice and help influence the company’s longevity modelling strategy. You can really “geek out” on models in this sort of role – so if that’s the kind of thing you’re into, then you’ll love a job like this! The technical content that you studied in the actuarial exams is really relevant too – from time series modelling in CT6, through to the Solvency II and longevity content of the later fellowship exams.

Is longevity quite a hot topic these days?

Absolutely. There’s a 3-day conference on longevity issues every other year (I’ve been lucky enough to attend recently, and it was really interesting). It’s a topic to which the PRA pay lots of attention, and calibrating our longevity mis-estimation and trend stresses under Solvency II is a challenging activity – there’s no obvious right or wrong answer.

So why is the Phoenix Group a good place to work for people interested in this sort of thing?

As we have a large book of annuity business we are always looking at better ways to understand and manage our longevity risk. You have an opportunity to work with some industry leading models and there’s loads you can learn from a role like mine!

Emily Harrison, Assistant Actuary