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Mortality FAQs

What age definition is used for mortality rates in the CMI tables?

The CMI uses the standard definition of q(x) in its tables; that is q(x) is the probability that a life aged exactly x will die in the next year ie, before attaining exact age x+1. Similarly, q(x+.5) is applicable from exact age x+.5 to exact age x+1.5. This notation is described in most standard texts on the subject, eg, page 8 of Life Contingencies by Alistair Neill. For the avoidance of doubt, the age definition in the tables is not next, nearest or last but exact.

Where do I find published mortality tables?

  • The 00 series base mortality tables were published in CMI Working papers 21 and 22.
  • In 2002, an interim basis for adjusting the 92 series mortality projections was published in CMI Working paper 1
  • The 92 series base mortality tables and projections were published in CMI Report 17.
  • The 80 series base mortality tables and projections were published in CMI Report 10.
  • Earlier mortality tables were published in various printed volumes which are not available electronically.
  • All published CMI base mortality tables are available in Excel format. 

How are joint life cases treated?

Joint life cases are treated as a single life that is in force in both the male and female investigations. When the first life dies it is treated as a death in that investigation. The second life then exits from the other investigation. The exposed to risks for the two lives are the same except in the last year where the death is exposed for a full year and the other life is exposed for half a year.

The 00 series tables are described as giving mortality rates applicable to the calendar year 2000 - but at what exact point in 2000 do they apply?

For the 00 series tables, the value of qx applies on average to a life attaining age x in the middle (i.e. midnight between 30 June and 1 July) of 2000 and gives the probability of death before attainment of age x+1 in the middle of 2001. The 'base' year for these tables is thus 2000. Similar comments apply to the 92 series (mid-1992 to mid-1993) and the 80 series (mid-1980 to mid-1981).

Why are the exposed to risks for joint life cases so different for males and females in the smoker investigations?

One life may be a smoker and the other a non-smoker. This means that the smoker and non-smoker exposed to risks must be aggregated before the male and female exposed to risks are compared. (Ref: CMI Report 19, 105)

I am unable to reproduce the CMI results. When I multiply the exposed to risk at age x by the relevant mortality rate qx the expected number of deaths I calculate differs from the CMI’s figure. Why is this?

The CMI analyses use an initial exposed to risk and an age definition of age nearest. This means that lives are exposed from age x–½ to x+½. Since the mortality rate q applies as at the start of that year of age, qx–½ is used.

Can you provide an analysis of the temporary assurance investigation by ‘amounts’ as well as ‘lives’?

No. ‘Amounts’ data is currently only collected for the immediate annuitant and life office pensioner investigations. For all other investigations, including temporary and permanent assurances, we only have information on the number of policies. However, work is currently being undertaken to switch to a per-policy submission method for the mortality investigation, and this will enable us to carry out more detailed analyses. Find out more on the Per-policy data submission FAQs page.

Can you provide information on the correlation between the mortality experience and size of policy for the annuitant and pensioner investigations?

No. All data we receive is in an aggregated census format - we do not have details of individual policies. However, work is currently being undertaken to switch to a per-policy submission method for the mortality investigation, and this will enable us to carry out more detailed analyses.  Find out more on the Per-policy data submission FAQs page.

Can you provide any information on mortality experience broken down by occupation / socio-economic group / geographical location / cause / other?

No. We have no information on the make-up of the lives comprising the data, other than that they are all holders of policies with UK insurance companies. An investigation into mortality by cause of death used to be carried out, but this was discontinued in 1995. More information will become available once per-policy data collection is in place.

Can you suggest other possible sources of UK mortality information?

How should stakeholder pension plans be treated for data submission purposes?

Personal stakeholder pensions should be included in the same data return as for personal pensions data ie, investigation 22 for polices in deferment and investigation 24 for policies in payment. Currently there is no investigation for group stakeholder arrangements.

How will the reporting of annuities in payment be affected by pensions sharing on divorce?

Where the annuity record has been split so that both annuities are being recorded then the member’s pension can be recorded in the normal way (though at a reduced amount), and the ex-spouse’s policy should also be recorded as another active member (investigation 31 or 33). The point is that the spouse investigation (investigation 34) is recording the mortality of spouses after the death of their partner and the divorced spouse record should not be included in that investigation.

In the event of an office’s restructuring, for example through mergers, demutualisations or other transfers of business, should separate returns still be made for the original office numbers or should these be combined?

Provided the CMI is notified as to any changes in grouping, the way that policies are grouped is really a matter for the companies involved. The CMI aggregates the data prior to wider publication. Our main concern is to make sure that, overall, we collect as much accurate data as possible. At the company level, the main users of the data split are the offices themselves. This is reflected in the office specific reports produced for each office, and so if an office wishes to track the experience of each portfolio separately then it should continue to return data in the original way using the original office numbers.

What table is recommended for [the particular experience I am looking at]?

It is down to each individual actuary to choose the mortality table, and any adjustments to it, for the particular experience in question. We cannot “recommend” a table to be used.

What factors drive future movements in mortality improvements?

Possible factors include medical advances, lifestyle changes, etc. but unfortunately the CMI does not have information available.

Contact Details

If you have any questions about the CMI please email

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Events calendar

  • Pensions Conference 2019

    Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre, 2 Lower Castle Street, Old Market, Bristol, BS1 3AD
    18-19 June 2019
    Spaces available

    Five plenaries and 13 workshops cover current topics and industry trends in the Pension sector with the opportunity to develop your network at the pre-conference evening dinner (18 June).  There is also a day ticket option available for the 19 June. 

  • KSS event – FinTech and The Actuarial Profession

    EY, Atria One, 144 Morrison Street, Edinburgh
    19 June 2019

    Spaces available

    This KSS talk from FinTech Scotland's CEO will explore the mission to create an integrated Fintech ecosystem through provision of funding, support, infrastructure and talent that recognises and responds to the needs of all stakeholders - and the overarching aim for Scotland to be one of the top 5 Fintech global leaders by 2020.

    To book your place, please email 

  • Current Issues in General Insurance (CIGI) 2019

    Inmarsat, 99 City Road, London, EC1Y 1BJ
    19 June 2019

    Fully booked.

    CIGI is a well-established one-day seminar designed to increase awareness and encourage discussion on a variety of topical issues across the general insurance industry. 

    There will be an excellent and diverse line-up of speakers to provide a variety of perspectives and challenge covering technical and professional areas. 

  • Cass Event – New Thinking about Deferred Annuities

    Cass Business School, Executive Education Facilities 200 Aldersgate St, London EC1A 4HD
    25 June 2019

    Spaces available

    Our motivation for discussing this important subject comes from some exciting recent research which has analysed the impact of behavioural factors on the decision to purchase an annuity. This work has shown that behavioural factors can explain the well-known low demand for immediate annuities but this research also identifies an important opportunity in relation to deferred annuities (DA). The research suggests that these factors lead to positive incentives to purchase a DA and that, for longer deferred periods, a DA could be an attractive product for both consumers and insurers.

  • IFoA/SAS Joint Professional Skills Training – Singapore

    Room 903, NTUC Centre, Level 9, One Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018989
    25 June 2019

    Spaces available

    The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and Singapore Actuarial Society (SAS) are organising a joint Professional Skills Training (PST) in Singapore. This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Life, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Webinar Series: Risk and Investment Conference 2019, 26 June

    These are online webinar events.
    26 June 2019

    Spaces available

    The IFoA’s Risk Management and Finance and Investment Boards are delighted to host a series of webinars covering a range of topical and trending topics ranging from climate related risks to Brexit.

  • AGM and Presidential Address 2019 + Volunteer and Member Drinks Reception

    The Hub  Castlehill Edinburgh EH1 2NE
    26 June 2019

    Spaces available

    Notice is hereby given that the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the INSTITUTE AND FACULTY OF ACTUARIES will be held at The Hub, Edinburgh on Wednesday 26 June 2019 at 16.30 (Preceded by tea from 16.00) and followed by a PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS given by John Taylor.

  • IFAM event - Actuarial Teachers’ & Researchers’ Conference 2019

    Institute for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics Department of Mathematical  Sciences The University of Liverpool Mathematical Sciences Building Peach Street Liverpool, L69 7ZL
    27 June 2019 - 29 June 2019

    Spaces available

    The Institute for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics (IFAM) at the University of Liverpool is pleased to host the 2019 Actuarial Teachers’ and Researchers’ Conference from 27-28 June 2019. This annual two-day event has been running annually now for many years, each time hosted by a different university, and provides all those interested in actuarial research and education a great opportunity to share their ideas and catch up on the latest developments.

  • IFoA/ASM Joint Professional Skills Training – Kuala Lumpur

    Menara AIA, Auditorium, 99 Jalan Ampang, 50450, Kuala Lumpur
    28 June 2019

    Spaces available

    The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and Actuarial Society of Malaysia (ASM) are organising a joint Professional Skills Training (PST) in Kuala Lumpur. This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Life, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • SIAS: The Impact of Air Pollution on Health and Life Expectancy

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    2 July 2019

    Spaces available

    Air pollution has gained increasing attention lately. Nicola Oliver, head of longevity and mortality research for Medical Intelligence, will discuss not only the impacts of air pollution on health and life expectancy but also how as an industry we should be addressing it.

  • Spaces available

    The actuarial profession has much to offer the world of banking. In this webinar actuaries with experience in various fields of banking will talk about the opportunities there are in banking; describing the actuarial aspects of the work they do as well as other roles within their area of banking.

  • Implications of 2019 IFRS 17 Exposure Draft

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    24 July 2019

    Spaces available

    Towards the end of June, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is expected to publish an Exposure Draft (ED) of limited changes to its insurance contracts standard IFRS 17, effective date 2022. To help IFoA members, the IFoA’s cross-practice Financial Reporting Group (FRG) is hosting an event at Staple Inn covering these developments. 

    For more information on the FRG please visit this webpage

  • KSS event – The Regulatory Perspective

    Deloitte Saltire Court 20 Castle Terrace Edinburgh EH1 2EG
    5 September 2019

    Spaces available

    This KSS talk, presented by the FCA Head of Department in Scotland, will focus on the following 3 main areas:

    • FCA business plan priorities
    • The future of regulation
    • FCA Engagement in Scotland
  • Sessional Research Event - Risk Margin Working Party

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London, WC1V 7QJ
    9 September 2019

    Spaces available

    For life insurers in the UK, the risk margin is one of the most controversial aspects of the Solvency II regime. Following its implementation, the risk margin came under considerable criticism for being too large and too sensitive to interest rate movements. These criticisms are particularly valid for annuity business – such business is of great significance to the national system for retirement provision. This criticism has led to political interest, and the risk margin was a major element of the Treasury Committee inquiry into Solvency II.

  • GIRO Conference 2019

    EICC, The Exchange, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EE
    24-26 September 2019
    Spaces available

    GIRO is attended annually by over 800 delegates and speakers who are keen to discuss key topics such as Pricing, Reserving, Modelling and the future of the insurance industry. GIRO 2018 was a huge success and we have opened bookings early for what we hope will be another brilliant conference at the EICC in Edinburgh this year. 


  • Life Conference 2019

    The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1
    20-22 November 2019
    Spaces available

    The Life Conference is the premier event for professionals interested in life insurance.  Offering a wide range of workshops and plenary sessions it’s the perfect opportunity to discover what’s hot and current in life insurance ensuring you get up to date on the latest thinking and innovation whilst meeting and exchanging ideas with a broad range of professionals.

  • Autumn Lecture 2019, London - Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP

    Lincoln's Inn The Treasury Office, London WC2A 3TL
    2 December 2019

    Spaces available

    The IFoA is pleased to announce that this year’s Autumn Lecture will feature the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP as its guest speaker.  Nicky has previously served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Minister for Women. She now chairs the Treasury Select Committee whose remit is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury, along with all of its agencies and associated bodies.