UK Actuaries is governed by Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFOA). Whereas Indian Actuaries is governed by Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI). Both Indian & UK actuaries are sought after courses and have their own pros and cons. One point worth pointing is the Mutual Recognition Agreement signed between both these institutes.
Any IFOA candidate can claim exemption of any of the 15 subjects from IAI if he has cleared it from IFOA on payment of an exemption fees. In retrospect, an IAI candidate can also claim exemption from IFOA for any of the 15 subjects. It simply means that a candidate needs to clear a subject from one Institute only.
IAI - Any person who has passed 12th can register for a ACET. Only after passing ACET can a person be eligible to take membership of IAI. ACET (entrance exam) is an online objective paper conducted twice a year (June/Dec) based on 12th Maths & Statistics.
IFOA - There are two criterias here
- Direct Membership - If the candidate has 80% in 12th Maths (or) 55% in Graduation Maths (or) 55% in MBA Finance he can directly register for membership and then appear for CT exams.
- Non-Membership - If the candidate doesn't fulfill any of the above requirements he has to first sit for CT-1 ( Financial mathematics) and can register for membership only after clearing this exam.
IAI - Fees consist of -
- One time Fees for registering into ACET - Rs. 3000
- One time Fees for Admission into Actuarial course - Rs. 1500
- Per subject fees – Varies between 2000 & 4000 (This fees excludes the cost of Study Material i.e. Rs. 2500 which is compulsory to purchase)
- Annual Membership Subscription fees - Rs. 750
Both IAI & IFOA has the same syllabus. In fact, IAI distributes the same study material issued by the IFOA. So anyone preparing for IAI exams can appear for IFOA and vice-a-versa. So, if you wish, you can sit for both the exams, it would simply enhance your chances of clearing it.
IAI - Syllabus
IFOA - Syllabus
IFOA – You can find the fees structure of IFOA from this link. The fees is approximately 2.5 times of that of IAI.
Regarding Passing percentage, it’s a common trend that the CT level papers of IAI are tough as compared to that of IFOA. And the CA, ST & SA level papers of IFOA are tough as compared to IAI. So, it would be wise enough to register for IFOA first than switch to IAI in the later stage.
One thing to note that, questions set by IAI is quite erratic. In some of the attempts the CT level papers have even seen a passing percentage of 0% !!
It hardly makes any difference whether you have registered yourself with IAI or IFOA with respect to Future scope but still it is recommended for a person seeking job in Foreign countries (US, UK, etc.) to register through IFOA because IFOA has a mutual agreement with Society of Actuaries, US.
To conclude, Register for IFOA if you can afford it. You don't need to appear for ACET and you can also take advantage of a better passing percentage there.
If you are doubtful and don't want to shell out so much money appearing for IFOA, you can register for IAI and sit for the easy papers first (i.e. CT1, CT2, CT3 & CT7) and then decide on making a switch to IFOA.