Contributions Made by the Actuarial Division of Metropolitan Life




Impressive as is the present size of the actuarial personnel, it would be much larger were it not for the intensive use of modern mechanical devices in the routine work of the division. These include batteries of electrically operated sorting and tabulating machines for perforated record cards, as well as numerous calculating machines. These devices make it possible to carry out large and complicated jobs with almost incredible speed.Metropolitan Life was, in fact, one of the pioneers in the use of machines in office administration. It has not only availed itself of the best practical devices on the market, but has been active in perfecting them for use in insurance accounting. Some 30 years ago the company retained J. Royden Peirce, an experienced inventor, to adapt his devices to the special requirements of the Actuarial Division. As a result, new types of tabulating machines incorporating many vital improvements were first designed and built in the Home Office of the company.Later, through an arrangement whereby the International Business Machines Company took over Mr. Peirce\'s inventions, various new types of punch card, sorting, and tabulating machines were developed which are now extensively used by the company. Even to a greater extent than the use of up-to-date laborsaving machinery, numerous improvements in administrative practices and shortcut methods have brought the Actuarial Division to its present peak of efficiency.In its long career, the Actuarial Division of the Metropolitan has made important contributions to the scientific and social progress of the nation. To appreciate their significance it must be realized that the actuarial field is a distinct branch of applied science, comparable to engineering or medicine. Consequently, the many improvements made in its theory and practice have, in themselves, constituted scientific advances.Actuarial studies, in which the Metropolitan has played an important part, have thrown a great deal of light on factors influencing health and longevity. These researches have directed attention to industrial hazards, as well as to medical defects and conditions which shorten life.Metropolitan Actuaries have also helped in the efforts to solve problems relating to the financial security of the individual and the family. Beginning with J. D. Craig\'s first studies of Unemployment and of Health insurance, members of the Division have contributed many significant studies which have been of value in the development of our national system of social security.But over and above this, and as part of their day-to-day work, the greatest contribution of American actuaries to the social welfare of the nation has been to put the institution of life Insurance on a firm and unshakable foundation. They have enabled the business to expand safely to its present status, where fully half the people of the United States and Canada use this medium to build up voluntary programs of individual and family security.The creative abilities of American actuaries have thus made possible the development of private life insurance in this country on a scale unrivaled anywhere else in the world. Modern actuaries recognize also their obligation to the future.Their broadly conceived and thorough program of training insures a new generation of capable men to carry on this vital work. The American public may be confident that, under the wise counsel of the actuaries, the life insurance business will be conducted in the best interest of the policyholders and of the nation.--But over and above this, and as part of their day-to-day work, the greatest contribution of American actuaries to the social welfare of the nation has been to put the institution of life Insurance on a firm and unshakable foundation.Source: http://www.articletrader.com
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