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    (Original post by TheIrrational)
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    Do you think there's much difference in the work culture and environment of the different consultancies? I'm thinking of the likes of Towers Watson, Mercer, Aon, Hymans etc.

    Perhaps it's an unfair question as I gather you've only worked at the one place? But perhaps you've got friends in other places you might have heard about? I'm wondering if there's that much difference between them.
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    Is how fast you complete all the exams purely down to passing them all first time or are you allowed to take more in a year than usual so that you can qualify sooner?
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    I'd be happy to answer any questions as well similar to OP i've been working at a pensions consultancy for a year and a bit now... done a few exams as well.
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    (Original post by bijesh12)
    I'd be happy to answer any questions as well similar to OP i've been working at a pensions consultancy for a year and a bit now... done a few exams as well.
    How much are you on may i ask (:
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    (Original post by Rftra)
    How much are you on may i ask (:
    Haha I can't disclose this but above 30 k and have a few exam passes under my belt which roughly correspond to the same salary rises mentioned by the OP. You do the maths .
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    (Original post by strangesquark)
    Do you think there's much difference in the work culture and environment of the different consultancies? I'm thinking of the likes of Towers Watson, Mercer, Aon, Hymans etc.

    Perhaps it's an unfair question as I gather you've only worked at the one place? But perhaps you've got friends in other places you might have heard about? I'm wondering if there's that much difference between them.
    I think there are minor differences but they are majorly the same. I know someone who works at each of the 4 you named (and I work at one of them) and they all seem to be having the same experience I am. In each one there are social and not so social people. I really don't think there's much difference - perhaps some have more of a work hard play hard culture but I really couldn't say accurately as you say. I know I work longer hours quite regularly and got thrown right into the deep end when I started working and I have a friend at one of the above who was definitely eased in far far more.

    (Original post by Terry Tibbs)
    Is how fast you complete all the exams purely down to passing them all first time or are you allowed to take more in a year than usual so that you can qualify sooner?
    The minimum time you can qualify is 3 years (you need 3 years experience to qualify), and this is possible but not easy. You can take as many exams as you want in a sitting however which ever company you work for might frown upon you wanting to sit loads in one as you will almost certainly fail some - and they're not cheap exams! I booked CT1,2,3 today and they were like £650ish (I've forgotten the exact figure).

    An example route to qualifying would be:
    Year 1:
    Sitting 1: CT1,2,3
    Summer: CT9
    Sitting 2: CT5,6, CA2
    Year 2:
    Sitting 1: CT4,7,8
    Sitting 2: ST"X"
    Year 3:
    Sitting 1: CA1
    Summer: CA3
    Sitting 2: ST"Y", SA"Z"

    And that would get it done in 3 years which is the minimum - but it's rare for someone to make it all that way without failing. The pass rate for CA3 is obscenely low.

    I hope this answered your question, but I'm not sure. Let me know if you want me to clarify on any points

    (Original post by bijesh12)
    I'd be happy to answer any questions as well similar to OP i've been working at a pensions consultancy for a year and a bit now... done a few exams as well.
    Hey, nice to meet you we might know each other!
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    (Original post by bijesh12)
    Haha I can't disclose this but above 30 k and have a few exam passes under my belt which roughly correspond to the same salary rises mentioned by the OP. You do the maths .
    Theres no shame in dicussing salaries since its a student forum, im aspiring to be an actuary but dont no whether to chose it instead of engineering. What is the starting salary like if i were to find employment right after graduation? Also are you earning late or early 30s?.
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    (Original post by TheIrrational)
    I think there are minor differences but they are majorly the same. I know someone who works at each of the 4 you named (and I work at one of them) and they all seem to be having the same experience I am. In each one there are social and not so social people. I really don't think there's much difference - perhaps some have more of a work hard play hard culture but I really couldn't say accurately as you say. I know I work longer hours quite regularly and got thrown right into the deep end when I started working and I have a friend at one of the above who was definitely eased in far far more.
    Thanks for your insight.
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    (Original post by Rftra)
    Theres no shame in dicussing salaries since its a student forum, im aspiring to be an actuary but dont no whether to chose it instead of engineering. What is the starting salary like if i were to find employment right after graduation? Also are you earning late or early 30s?.
    Mid 30's.. Please don't be taking the actuarial route solely for the salary (I'm not saying you are but generally many people have this mindset). The best thing is to get some kind of work experience in the summer as an intern, this will be your advantage to others. I say this because academic excellence is not something that'll set you apart (most people applying to these schemes usually have a 1st / 2:1 from top uni's). It was hard for me as I wasn't from atop uni, but I had sufficient work experience in different fields within finance.

    Salaries vary to be honest from region to company even probably the area of actuarial work (though I'm not sure about the last one). If you're in London / south east you could probably expect a salary upwards of 28k which in my opinion is really good.

    we have a few people with engineering degrees who are now actuaries. Most people study Maths / Physics / Actuarial science and economics.
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    (Original post by TheIrrational)
    I think there are minor differences but they are majorly the same. I know someone who works at each of the 4 you named (and I work at one of them) and they all seem to be having the same experience I am. In each one there are social and not so social people. I really don't think there's much difference - perhaps some have more of a work hard play hard culture but I really couldn't say accurately as you say. I know I work longer hours quite regularly and got thrown right into the deep end when I started working and I have a friend at one of the above who was definitely eased in far far more.



    The minimum time you can qualify is 3 years (you need 3 years experience to qualify), and this is possible but not easy. You can take as many exams as you want in a sitting however which ever company you work for might frown upon you wanting to sit loads in one as you will almost certainly fail some - and they're not cheap exams! I booked CT1,2,3 today and they were like £650ish (I've forgotten the exact figure).

    An example route to qualifying would be:
    Year 1:
    Sitting 1: CT1,2,3
    Summer: CT9
    Sitting 2: CT5,6, CA2
    Year 2:
    Sitting 1: CT4,7,8
    Sitting 2: ST"X"
    Year 3:
    Sitting 1: CA1
    Summer: CA3
    Sitting 2: ST"Y", SA"Z"

    And that would get it done in 3 years which is the minimum - but it's rare for someone to make it all that way without failing. The pass rate for CA3 is obscenely low.

    I hope this answered your question, but I'm not sure. Let me know if you want me to clarify on any points



    Hey, nice to meet you we might know each other!
    Hey ! Nice to meet you Aswell.. Good thread you got going here 👍.. I wish I would have had this much help when I was searching for jobs. How are you finding it in the world of pensions ?

    I don't think we know each other but I've seen you're quite active in the forum with anything actuarial.. Thought I'd share my experience Aswell
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    (Original post by bijesh12)
    Mid 30's.. Please don't be taking the actuarial route solely for the salary (I'm not saying you are but generally many people have this mindset). The best thing is to get some kind of work experience in the summer as an intern, this will be your advantage to others. I say this because academic excellence is not something that'll set you apart (most people applying to these schemes usually have a 1st / 2:1 from top uni's). It was hard for me as I wasn't from atop uni, but I had sufficient work experience in different fields within finance.

    Salaries vary to be honest from region to company even probably the area of actuarial work (though I'm not sure about the last one). If you're in London / south east you could probably expect a salary upwards of 28k which in my opinion is really good.

    we have a few people with engineering degrees who are now actuaries. Most people study Maths / Physics / Actuarial science and economics.
    What kind of work do you on a typical day? What parts of the work do you enjoy the most/least?
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    (Original post by Terry Tibbs)
    What kind of work do you on a typical day? What parts of the work do you enjoy the most/least?
    The bulk of the work centres around pension scheme valuations and day to day "errands" in relation to running the scheme. A valuation of a pension scheme takes place every three years in which we literally value each member's pension and see if the scheme has enough assets to pay the liabilities it owes (this is hardly ever the case). A valuation can be a long process so we usually new joiners / recent joiners are involved in almost every step of the valuation, these are :

    *Performing a range of data checks to be used for the valuation - this is to comply with the technical actuarial standards set by the iFoA.

    *We have to make a lot of assumptions (financial, mortality, demographic) so we do a lot of work in relation to this. Setting assumptions usually means looking at the economic climate and the duration of a scheme and how we expect things to change during this duration etc.

    *Performing calculations - calculating the value of pensions of the different members of the scheme.

    *Drafting reports - communicating to trustees (who are the responsible to ensure the scheme has enough to pay it's liabilities). We also draft member communications if anything in a scheme changes (e.g. we decide to change the annual increase a pension gets..).

    *We are involved in a lot of dialogue with lawyers, auditors, other actuaries, regulatory bodies so this communication in itself is a task.

    Other jobs are drafting quarterly investment reports (talking about how the scheme's investments performed during a quarter, how it affected the asset values and sometimes funding position).

    The sort of errands that come about often are calculating individual member requests such as transfer values (the amount of pension a deferred member of a scheme has accrued till date) and trivial commutations (the lump sum amount of pension that a member of the scheme can receive on retirement).

    This list is on exhaustive, there are many other tasks but generally bulk of the work is related to the valuation work. We also produce accounting reports at the start of the new year as pension scheme accounting is done differently to the usual corporate business accounting.
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    Any more questions anyone?
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    (Original post by TheIrrational)
    Hi all, I'm an Actuarial student, I'm happy to answer almost any questions about my job, application processes or anything else anyone would like to know about being an Actuary.

    A little background about myself to clear a few things up immediately:

    I studied maths at university and graduated in 2015. In September 2015 I started working for an actuarial firm specialising in pensions.
    How much does studying take up and how much of an impact is it on your social life? Thanks
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    (Original post by TheIrrational)
    Any more questions anyone?
    How's revision going for April sitting ? Which units you doing ?
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    What are your typical working hours per day? is it a 9-5 routine?
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    (Original post by under8ed)
    How much does studying take up and how much of an impact is it on your social life? Thanks
    I'm very sorry for the slow reply! I completely forgot to check back on here after posting again!

    Studying does take up a lot of time out of work (for me anyway).

    As with most things however, it is what you make of it. I know people who don't study much outside of their study day each week, which obviously leads to a lower chance of passing. It comes down to how you want to study.

    I still have a pretty alright social life (by my own stands) I play football and badminton once each week in the evenings and usually go out once a week.
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    (Original post by bijesh12)
    How's revision going for April sitting ? Which units you doing ?
    It's going okay thank you!

    I'm sitting CT1, 2 and 3. I've done 2 of my mock papers so far and just preparing for the 3rd one. I've finished all the content so it's just past papers from here on really
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    (Original post by hunderfert)
    What are your typical working hours per day? is it a 9-5 routine?
    For the company I work for this is a very much "what you make of it" thing.

    I often work longer hours than most. I probably work 9-6 on average but occasionally finish after 7 and rarely past 8 (usually only this late if I'm out the office for a few days and I need to finish some things off).

    That being said there most certainly are people who work 9-5 with their hour for lunch and deadlines and work responsibilities seem to take a back seat to the work life balance.

    So it really is what you make of it. Most people sit somewhere in between me and the other extreme. I.e. work 9-5:30 and take about 15-30 minutes for lunch.
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    What are CA and ST exams ? And how many in total do you do before you become qualified
 
 
 
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