Young Actuaries' Public Policy Essay Competition

The Public Policy Council Committee has launched an essay competition, for young actuaries.

The goal is to foster thought leadership by encouraging younger members of the profession to consider public policy issues from an actuarial perspective.

Public policy generally describes the intersection of legal, regulatory and/or political action that is taken to tackle problems affecting society.

Issues examined by the Institute in recent years include;  longevity risk, climate change, intergenerational equity, mental health, genetics and big data.

In 2020 the most critical issue facing society has been the impact of COVID-19, Accordingly, the essay topic for 2021 is:

How has the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the value of actuarial thinking?

Apart from lessons learnt, essays should also explore future implications and responses.

Entrants may like to address one or more of the following supplementary questions:

  1. What approaches could the profession take to give better actuarial advice?
  2. Where can you see actuarial thinking bringing value in future?
  3. Where would you like to see actuaries providing more insights?

NB - the topic should be considered in its broadest sense, is not limited to life insurance and is relevant to any practice area

Key details:

  • The competition is open to members under 35 years (at 1 March 2021).
  • The requirement is a 4000-word essay (excluding references)
  • The competition deadline is 5pm Friday 26 February 2021.
  • Entries should be emailed to
  • The judging panel is the President (or delegate), CEO and PPCC Convenor (or delegate).
  • The winning entry will be published by the Institute and the author will receive $4000.

For further information, please contact the Public Policy HQ Team.

In 2018, The Institute’s Public Policy Essay Competition attracted a host of young authors whose essays demonstrated that actuaries can apply their skills across a range of fascinating topics; from mental health to blockchain, road pricing, the gig economy, complexity in retirement, genetic testing and many more.

The winning essay ‘Modern government service delivery’ by Hugh Miller was singled out for its clear communication, logical structure and innovative approach to a growing issue for governments – how to deliver important services within ever tightening budgets. In the below video, Hugh discusses the key points and conclusions in his essay.