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New York Life's Actuarial Training Program



If you are considering an actuarial career, consider New York Life. From its founding over 165 years ago, New York Life has been an innovator in life insurance. New York Life provides an array of insurance and financial products and services to businesses and consumers, including traditional life insurance and annuities. But we offer more than quality products and services -- we offer quality opportunities.

The actuaries at New York Life are actively involved in many aspects of the Company's operations including the design and pricing of products and the evaluation of the Company's financial results. With close to 200 Fellows and Associates of the Society of Actuaries, and approximately 80 trainees, actuaries at New York Life make a difference. They have earned the respect of both their fellow employees and of our agency force.

We provide our actuarial trainees with a broad background in both theoretical and practical applications of actuarial science by combining challenging rotating job assignments with significant support towards the completion of the actuarial exams. The following pages describe all the benefits our program offers its trainees.

One of the most appealing features of New York Life's Actuarial Training Program is the rapport that exists in the actuarial community, not only among the trainees, but between the actuaries and trainees as well. The actuarial community at New York Life has remained strong and dedicated to the profession, while continuing to work closely with members of many different disciplines.

At New York Life, you will find both quality opportunities and a quality company. We encourage you to make New York Life Insurance Company "The Company You Keep."

1. Examination Support 2. Job Opportunities
3. Compensation 4. Fringe Benefits
5. Summer Actuarial Internship Program 6. Professional Organizations
7. New York Life's Vision and Values
8. How to Apply


New York Life's Actuarial Training Program
Success as an actuary depends upon the combination of basic knowledge and technical expertise gained through completion of the Society of Actuaries' (SOA) examinations along with the actuarial and supervisory experience of on the job training. New York Life's Actuarial Training Program encourages actuarial trainees to develop both skills by combining a program of assistance in preparing for the exams with a wide variety of challenging work assignments. Generally candidates are expected to have passed at least one SOA examination before applying to the Actuarial Training Program.

1. Examination Support

Study Time
To supplement the trainees' study outside the office, the Company grants a substantial amount of study time during working hours. This study time is granted as follows:


Requirement First Attempt Second Attempt Third Attempt
VEE Corporate Finance 4
VEE Microeconomics & Macroeconomics 2 each
VEE Time Series & Regression 3 Each
Exam P 10 8 5
Exam FM 10 8 5
Exam MLC 12 9 6
Exam MFE 10 8 5
Exam C 15 12 8
FAP* 16
FSA Modules* 6 -
FSA Exams (5 hours) 18 13 8
FSA Exams (2 hours) 6 4.5 3
FSA Exam ERM (4 hours) 12 9 6
APC/FAC Time to attend

*Study time allotment for VEE, ASA modules, FSA modules, and DMAC is one-time only. No additional days will be given for subsequent attempts.

Students attempting more than one exam in one sitting will receive the study time allotment for each separate exam. However, a maximum of 20 study days can be taken in any six-month period.

Trainees are generally allowed to choose the days on which they will take their study time, and where they will study. Study days can be taken as a quarter day, half day, or full day. Study schedules are worked out between the trainees and their direct supervisor. Trainees are encouraged to take most of the study time at a rate of 2 half days per week during the three-month period prior to the exam(s). The balance of the study time may be spread out over the entire period or may be taken immediately prior to the exam so that the trainee may spend several consecutive days studying full time.

Because passing the examinations requires a substantial amount of study outside of work, trainees are normally not expected to work overtime in the month immediately preceding the exam. However, there may be overtime at other times depending on the trainee's assignment. In these cases, compensatory study time is usually granted.

Exam Day
Students will receive time off on the day of their examination which is not included as part of the allocated study time. Time off will depend on the length of the examination.

  • Half days will be given for VEE exams
  • Full days will be given for longer exams.

Study Facilities
The Company has set aside study rooms specifically for the trainees in both Home Office and Westchester locations. The rooms are available during and after work hours and on weekends so that trainees have the option of studying in the office at all times.

Review Seminars
Actuarial trainees are encouraged to attend review seminars. The Student Program will sponsor one review seminar per exam.

Trainees at New York Life often form informal study groups to discuss and review course material.

Expense Reimbursement
Actuarial trainees have the option of having New York Life purchase exam materials for them or the option of purchasing materials themselves, for which they will be reimbursed. Trainees are reimbursed once for most of the expenses incurred on the first attempt at an exam. This includes class or seminar fees, exam fees, study notes, and textbooks. If the exam is passed on a subsequent attempt, we will reimburse the exam fee a second time.

Pass Luncheons
New York Life's Chief Actuary hosts a luncheon for those students who had a successful exam sitting.

Examination Progress Requirements
New York Life has two levels of actuarial trainees. A trainee's level depends not only on exam success, as indicated below, but also on satisfactory work performance and the determination that the student is deemed prepared to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.

  • Actuarial Assistants are trainees who have not passed all the requirements needed for membership in the Society of Actuaries.
  • Actuarial Associates are trainees who have passed the first five exams, FAP (ASA modules) and VEEs i.e., have attained Associateship in the Society of Actuaries.

All actuarial trainees are expected to make reasonable progress through the examinations.

  • At least one exam should be taken during each examination period.
  • Trainees are expected to pass at least two exams in each period of four consecutive examination sittings.

Shortly after the exam results are published, the record of any trainee whose exam progress is not satisfactory is reviewed. Although exam progress is the most important factor, this review also takes into account work performance and potential, as well as any unusual circumstances. Trainees whose reviews are unsatisfactory are taken off the Actuarial Training Program, and must find a position outside of the training program if they wish to remain with the Company.

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2. Job Opportunities

Initially, an actuarial trainee gains basic knowledge of actuarial methods and procedures, Company operations and products, and insurance principles and terminology by working under the direction of advanced actuarial trainees and actuaries. As trainees gain experience, they assume progressively greater responsibility, including work at the supervisory level and, after completion of the actuarial exams, at the officer level. Most actuarial trainees work on various phases of the Company's research and technical actuarial operations. For example, a trainee may be involved in assisting in the development of premiums and benefits for new and improved products, analyses of mortality and expenses, preparation of annual statement data, studies of financial experience, asset/liability matching, development of underwriting rules and determination of dividend scales. However, actuarial trainees are also assigned to some non-traditional areas such as the Agency Department, where the work may involve compensation and benefit plans.

Actuarial trainees are currently in or have been recently assigned to the following areas of the Company:

  • Agency
    • Agency Compensation
  • Insurance Group
    • Actuarial Modeling
    • Advanced Markets Network - Executive Benefits
    • Experience Studies
    • Financial Reporting & Projections
    • Financial Management Department
    • Group Membership
    • Life Cash Flow Testing
    • Life Pricing
    • Long Term Care (Austin, TX)
    • NYL Direct Forecasting (Tampa, FL)
    • NYL Direct Product Development (Tampa, FL)
    • NYL Direct Valuation (Tampa, FL)
  • Investments Group
    • Annuity Cash Flow Testing
    • Annuity Financial Reporting & Valuation
    • Annuity Pricing
    • Experience Studies
    • Investment Risk Management
    • Retail Annuities
    • Retirement & Annuities (Parsippany, NJ)
    • Stable Value Investments (Parsippany, NJ)
  • Office of Chief Actuary
    • Business Unit Support & Oversight
    • Corporate Finance Oversight
    • Corporate Modeling
    • Office of Risk Management

Rotation Program
Typically student will rotate to new assignments every 24 months. Rotations are designed to give each trainee a broad insurance background through exposure to various aspects of actuarial work. Each trainee's previous experience, exam level and personal preference are considered when determining rotations to provide him or her with the greatest potential for growth.

New York Life's Home Office is located in midtown Manhattan. Beginning in 2004, New York Life has a Westchester office in Sleepy Hollow, New York, approximately 30 miles north of Manhattan. While the majority of actuaries and actuarial trainees work in Manhattan, several key actuarial areas are located in the Westchester office. Therefore, actuarial trainees are expected to complete rotations in both locations. Additionally, there is a small contingent of actuarial trainees located in Austin TX, Tampa FL, and Parsippany, NJ.

Actuarial Trainee Meetings
All Campus Enrichment (ACE) programs are generally held three times per year and are attended by all trainees from all locations. These seminars offer the trainees an excellent opportunity to stay abreast of any developments affecting New York Life or the Actuarial Training Program. The seminars feature presentations by company’s actuaries, officers, and outside speakers.

Post FSA Training
New York Life is firmly committed to the training and development of its actuarial force. Toward this end, an FSA Training Program has been put in place to help further develop Fellows’ leadership, communication, technical and business skills.

The program consists of two parts. The first part includes monthly meetings for the entire training class. The meetings focus on technical training and include speakers or exercises planned by the Training and Development team. The second part includes a variety of training courses that focus on FSA’s individual development needs. Additionally, each FSA is assigned an advisor to assist with course selection.

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3. Compensation

New York Life offers very competitive starting salaries to our new trainees. After hire, through a combination of exam increases, merit increases, and promotions, there is a wide range of advancement opportunities.

Exam Increases
The following salary increases are awarded to trainees who are successful on the actuarial exams:

Exam Passed Salary Increase
VEE None
Exam P - Probability 6.0%
Exam FM - Financial Mathematics 6.0%
Exam MLC - Actuarial Models 5.0%
Exam MFE - Financial Economics 3.0%
Exam C - Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models 6.0%
FAP Interim Assestment 3.5%
FAP Final Assessment 3.5%
FSA Modules 4.0%
FSA Exams (5 hours) 8.0%
FSA Exams (4 hours and 2 hours) 2.0%

Merit Increases
Each March, actuarial trainees are eligible for a merit increase. The level of a trainee's increase depends upon the trainee's job performance during the prior year. In addition, actuarial trainees are eligible for a bonus each year.

Shortly after the exam results are published, the record of all students is reviewed. A student’s exam performance and work performance is taken into account when being considered for a promotion.

Students who meet all of the following requirements will be considered for promotion to Actuarial Associate:

  • Attained Associateship,
  • Have a minimum of 12 months work experience,
  • Have satisfactory work performance, and
  • Recommendation of Manager and Student Program

Students who meet all of the following requirements will be considered for promotion to Senior Actuarial Associate:

  • Attained Fellowship or Associateship with significant work experience,
  • Have satisfactory work performance, and
  • Recommendation of Manager and Student Program

Students who meet all of the following requirements will be considered for promotion to Corporate Vice President and Actuary:

  • Attained Fellowship,
  • Demonstrates strong technical & analytical ability,
  • Understands actuarial concepts & applies to business situations,
  • Shows ability & willingness to take initiative, anticipates next steps, works independently,
  • Demonstrates good problem solving and decision making skills,
  • Communicates effectively with non-actuaries, both in written & verbal formats,
  • Demonstrates management ability, and
  • Recommendation of Manager and Student Program

In accordance with Company vacation policy, students who have been promoted to Actuarial Associate (PF3) will receive three weeks of vacation; students will receive a fourth week of vacation after they have been promoted to Corporate Vice President and Actuary (PF5/MG2). However, vacation also varies by years of service.

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4. Fringe Benefits

New York Life's Home Office at 51 Madison Avenue in Manhattan is across the street from Madison Square Park, and between the Murray Hill and Gramercy Park residential areas. It is within walking distance of both Grand Central and Penn Stations, as well as the Empire State Building, Times Square and Greenwich Village. The Westchester office is located on a beautiful 76-acre campus and is accessible by Metro North.

New York Life offers competitive and flexible benefits. Details on the Company's benefit plans are presented to new employees when they begin employment.

Vacation time ranges from 2 weeks up to 5 weeks based on years of service or job level. Actuarial Assistants generally receive 2 weeks vacation time and Senior Actuarial Assistants receive 3 weeks. Most years, every employee will receive a total of 11 paid holidays and "personal holidays". Additionally, employees can take advantage of half-day Fridays between Independence Day and Labor Day.

Employee organizations and clubs sponsor various social and athletic events throughout the year. Trainees are also eligible to use the gym facilities in both Home Office and Westchester Office. The fitness centers include treadmills, stationary bicycles, stair climbers, free weights, Nautilus equipment, and two large mirrored classrooms used for aerobics and other exercise classes. The gym and the locker facilities are open before and after work hours for the employees' convenience.

Other Home Office benefits include a backup child care center, which employees can utilize when their regular child care arrangements fail, and a subsidized food court dining facility open for breakfast and lunch, where employees have the option of using pre-tax dollars to purchase meals. The Westchester office has the similar facilities.

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5. Summer Actuarial Internship Program

In addition to full-time Actuarial Training Program, New York Life offers a Summer Actuarial Internship Program for undergraduate and graduate students, which combines relevant work experience with a series of actuarial classes and presentations. The program includes a number of social events to make sure the interns fully enjoy their summer experience. Click here to learn more.

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6. Professional Organizations

There are two national actuarial organizations: the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA). All students are eligible for membership in these organizations upon attaining Associate status in the Society of Actuaries. In addition to sponsoring the education and examination program, the SOA and AAA offer 2 and 3–day meetings, seminars on specialized topics, an Internet web page, a monthly newsletter, and various other publications designed to keep the actuary informed of recent developments within the profession.

The Company encourages all of its actuaries to serve on Committees for these organizations and to attend Society meetings. New Associates and new Fellows are entitled to attend an out–of–town meeting and after Fellowship, New York Life actuaries attend a meeting every one or two years.

The Company pays all dues and expenses for its employees in connection with membership in the SOA and AAA and for attendance at their meetings.

In addition to these national organizations, the Actuarial Society of Greater New York (ASNY) serves the greater New York area on a local basis. They offer lectures and seminars, a day–long annual meeting and various social events throughout the year.

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7. New York Life's Vision and Values

For over 165 years, New York Life has had a mission that encompasses the spirit and pride that brought us success.

Our Mission-
Our mission is to provide financial security and peace of mind through our insurance, annuity and investment products and services. By continuing to be a mutual company, we are uniquely aligned with our customers. By maintaining superior financial strength, we protect their future. By acting with integrity and humanity, we earn their trust and loyalty. Every decision we make, every action we take has one overriding purpose: To be here when our customers need us. That's why we call ourselves "The Company You Keep".

For any mission to have true substance, it must be based on the beliefs that we as a Company hold highest. These beliefs, which are discussed below, must govern our actions if we are to grow in today's marketplace and prosper in the future.

Our Beliefs–
We are a Company founded on strong beliefs, beliefs that manifest themselves in the way we do business, through our employees and agents, and in the products we sell and the services we provide.

We believe in FINANCIAL STRENGTH. We believe in maintaining and enhancing our sound financial position so we can continue to do what we have always done: be there for our customers.

We believe in INTEGRITY. We believe adherence to the highest standards of integrity is the principal measure of the success of our products, our dealings with our customers, and our contributions to society. Our integrity keeps us dedicated to providing our clients with value and financial security in the products we offer and quality and responsiveness in the services we provide.

And most of all, we believe in HUMANITY. We believe in treating our customers, agents, and employees with compassion, consideration, and respect. Our business is unique in that we possess the ability to help people provide for their futures and make their lives less worrisome, and our enduring belief in humanity keeps us from losing sight of this fact.

From the time New York Life was founded over 165 years ago to the present day, we've stayed true to these beliefs. They are the driving force behind what we were, what we are, and what we strive to become. Through every change that has taken place and will take place in our Company or in society at large, these beliefs keep us focused on the fact that we are in a business that can make a difference in people's lives.

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8. How to Apply

To apply for Full-Time Actuarial Training Program, go to New York Life's Career Opportunities web site and search relevant openings in the Actuarial department.

The contents of this Actuarial Training Program Booklet do not constitute the terms of a contract of employment. Nothing contained in this Booklet should be considered as a guarantee of continued employment with New York Life. Employment with New York Life is on an "at-will" basis and the employment relationship may be terminated at any time by either the employee or New York Life with or without cause and with or without notice.

All policies contained in this Booklet are Home Office guidelines. New York Life reserves the right to amend, modify, or delete these guidelines at any time. Due to revisions, there may be occasions when the Booklet will not reflect the most current information available. If you have any questions concerning guidelines, please contact New York Life.

New York Life is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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New York Life's Actuarial Training Program

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