actuary

noun ac·tu·ary \ ˈak-chə-ˌwer-ē , -shə- , -ˌwe-rē- \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of actuary

plural actuaries
1 obsolete : clerk, registrar
2 : a person who calculates insurance and annuity premiums, reserves, and dividends

Recent Examples of actuary from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'actuary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of actuary

borrowed from Latin āctuārius "shorthand writer, keeper of accounts," alteration (with -u- from the u-stem action noun āctus) of *āctārius, from āctum "public transaction, record" + -ārius 1-ary — more at 1act


Financial Definition of ACTUARY

actuary

What It Is

An actuary is a person who evaluates the likelihood of certain events and creates plans to deal with those events.

How It Works

Actuaries must understand business, have good analytical skills, and be aware of how human behavior affects risk. In the insurance business, for example, actuaries use an issuer's costs to calculate premiums for policyholders. They also make estimates of damage after big events, such as hurricanes or earthquakes. Additionally, they may use medical records, geological information, or other data to predict things such as how long a customer will live or where the next big earthquake will occur. Comfort with statistics is key.

Actuarial work typically requires a bachelor's degree, and actuaries must also pass a series of exams to earn a professional designation through the Casualty Actuarial Society or the Society of Actuaries. It can take six to 10 years to pass all the tests. In 2010, the median pay for actuaries was $87,650 per year.

Why It Matters

Because actuaries manage risk, many work in the insurance industry, but many also work in private industry, as consultants, at accounting firms, in banks and in other organizations.


ACTUARY Defined for English Language Learners

actuary

noun

Definition of actuary for English Language Learners

  • : a person whose job is to tell insurance companies how much they should charge people for insurance based on risks


Law Dictionary

actuary

noun ac·tu·ary \ ˈak-chə-ˌwer-ē, -shə- \

legal Definition of actuary

plural actuaries
: a person who calculates insurance and annuity premiums, reserves, and dividends


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