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Old 08-05-2010, 09:33 AM
sartorialscience sartorialscience is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12
Default FSA Tracks

Hi All,

Here's a little background on myself. I work in pensions in Canada. I have been working for a year. I have passed all my preliminary exams and am in the process of completing the FAP modules. I am starting to think ahead and want to start studying for my first FSA exam by the end of the year to write in May 2011. I am unsure about which track to follow.

My company doesn't care about which track I follow. Obviously if I went down the Life & Annuities or Health tracks they would be a tad confused, but ERM, Investment and Retirement are all fair game.

I am worried that by taking the Retirement track I will constrict myself to working in Retirement my entire life, which I don't want to do. However, Retirement would make the most sense to take as that is the industry I currently work in and have the most experience with. I am considering moving to Life insurance later in my career and don't want to be blocked from that just because I followed the Retirement track to get my FSA.

Is the track you follow for your FSA considered a lot when applying for jobs? Or is experience way more important, so much so that your track really doesn't matter at all.

Help a brother out!
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:41 AM
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Stan Stan is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Midwest
Studying for golf
Posts: 5,509

From everything that I have heard, it is only experience that actually counts. Sure maybe one day some of the exam information might help if you do ever move into a different field, but it will be difficult to convince interviewers of this.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:42 AM
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mlschop mlschop is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 36,417

In short:
I think Pension and Health exclusive businesses tend to care (especially when interviewing someone with little job experience in their field). Everyone else tends to just want you to become an FSA.

My opinion (might not be the same as all hiring managers and actuaries):
I think if you don't want to do Pensions forever, then do the ERM or Investment track, as the material on those exams can really help you should you want to get out of pensions. You'll need some basis for the switch out, or you could be competing with candidates with knowledge more applicable to the field.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:59 AM
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Shaft Shaft is offline
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,609

Originally Posted by mlschop View Post
In short:...

My opinion (might not be the same as all hiring managers and actuaries):
I think if you don't want to do Pensions forever, then do the ERM or Investment track, as the material on those exams can really help you should you want to get out of pensions. .
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:28 PM
missactsci missactsci is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Studying for LP
Posts: 81

I'm also in retirement thinking about switching at some point. I'd really like to get into a life insurance position. Given that I'd be an FSA with no experience in life going into a life insurance interview, don't you think it would help a little to have the life track FSA. Like you can say "this is how much I wanted it"

Although, recently I've been thinking that there are so many aspects to the life insurance industry (besides pricing and reserving, like asset management) that an ERM track FSA might be just as valuable.

Not sure if I should take ERM FSA exams or Life and annuities...
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:45 PM
Posts: n/a

they are changing FSA exam structure in mid 2013...from 2 six hour exams to 2 five hours + 1 NonCore (2 hours) OR ERM exam (4 hours).

EDIT: I guess Retirement has more exams that other tracks, but transition should still make becoming CERA easier for them too.

Furthermore, in 2013, they are shortening the ERM exam for CERA in mid 2013 from 6 hours to 4 hours....may not seem like much, but it could make getting a CERA easier. I don't know how far off you guys are, but you could take the ERM exam instead of the non-core if

IF you're about to take FSA exams right now, then you will have to decide how committed to a field you are...

If after 2013 seems about right, you could do the ERM exam (which counts for any track) along with 2 other FSA and get an FSA in a traditional track (retirement, life, health)...and still get the CERA as well, giving you more flexibility if you want traditional product versus enterprise risk actuarial knowledge.

Last edited by Sentinel; 11-01-2011 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:33 PM
Posts: n/a

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe for the Retirement Track, the EA exams count for the NonCore.

Also, I am slightly confused about the restructuring of the Fellowship Exams. I will start taking the upper-levels at the end of 2012, so I don't really know what to do.
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