The American Academy of Actuaries has decided to stick with an earlier decision to increase continuing education requirements for actuaries who issue U.S. statements of actuarial opinion.

The AAA says it will require qualified actuaries to receive 30 hours of CE each year, up from the current requirement of 24 hours of training every 2 years.

The new requirements, which are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2008, were proposed in a qualification standards draft released in January 2006.

The AAA received 211 comments and many dealt with the proposed increase in continuing education hour requirements, according to a memorandum describing the new requirements that was issued by the AAA board’s qualifications committee.

“While the commentators, in general, were not in favor of increasing the continuing education requirements, the Committee on Qualifications did not reduce the continuing education requirements,” the authors of the AAA memorandum wrote. “The committee believes that the increased continuing education requirement improves the actuarial work provided to clients and employers, strengthens the profession and enhances our reputation.”

The AAA board decided to soften the new requirements by letting actuaries who earn extra CE hours in a given year, roll the hours over to the next year. The AAA also shortened the length of an official CE “hour” to 50 minutes, from 60 minutes in the 2006 draft.

But, the final standards require that the 30 hours of continuing education include at least 6 hours of “organized activities,” up from 0 hours in the 2006 draft. They also require that at least 3 of the 30 hours deal with “professionalism” topics and that a maximum of 6 of the hours deal with “business skills topics.”