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Longevity Basis Risk

A research project jointly commissioned by the IFoA and Life and Longevity Markets Association (LLMA) has developed a readily-applicable methodology for quantifying the basis risk arising from the use of population-based mortality indices for managing longevity risk.

Longevity basis risk arises because different populations, or subpopulations, will inevitably experience different longevity outcomes. This is a significant issue for those wishing to hedge longevity risk using a published mortality index – whether they be pension schemes, insurers, reinsurers, or banks.

This work will be beneficial to a wide variety of organisations and individuals, including pension schemes and their members as well as insurance companies, which write annuity business. These and other institutions which are exposed to, or would like to invest in, longevity risk will gain from a new methodology for quantifying risk related to longevity.

Phase 2: 2016/2017

The purpose of Phase 2 has been to:

  • determine the most relevant metrics for measuring longevity basis risk and hedge effectiveness;
  • apply the approach in Phase 1 to realistic worked examples based on appropriate data;
  • present a robust quantification of basis risk to third parties such as regulators; and
  • investigate the potential limitations of the time series processes.


Research commissioned by: The IFoA and the LLMA
Project conducted by:

Macquarie University, University of Waterloo, Australian National University and Mercer Australia

Commenced: 2016
Status: Completed in 2017

    Phase 1: 2013/2014

    Phase 1 of this research focused on producing a methodology that could be used to quantify longevity basis risk and assess the level of risk reduction that might be brought about through the use of an index-based longevity hedge. It resulted in a framework that recognised the fact that different practitioners will have different portfolios, different volumes and histories of experience data, and different constraints of the models that they can use in practice.


    Research commissioned by: The IFoA and the LLMA
    Project conducted by:

    The Cass Business School, City University, and Hymans Robertson LLP

    Commenced: 2013
    Status: Completed in 2014

    Contact Details

    If you have any questions or wish to discuss any aspect of our funding for member-led research please contact the Research and Knowledge Team:

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    Events calendar

    • SIAS Event: Navigating Organisational Politics Positively

      Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
      3 June 2019

      Spaces available

      The term 'office politics' usually has a lot of negative connotations and indeed an inability to be able to navigate an organisation's formal processes and interact effectively with others at work can have far reaching adverse consequences.

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      Public scrutiny of what investment funds deliver for consumers continues to be high profile, with the FCA’s Asset Management Market Study requiring fund managers to make (and publish) an annual assessment of value for authorised funds from the end of 2019.

    • Reimagining ageing

      Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7Q
      14 June 2019

      Spaces available

      Reimagining ageing, hosted by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, in partnership with the ILC

    • Spaces available

      Increasing global concern over the impact of climate change has recently led to public scrutiny over the adequacy of existing risk management practices by insurance firms and pension schemes in dealing with these challenges, that potentially impact both individual actuaries and the IFOA generally.


    • Pensions Conference 2019

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

      Covering current topics and industry trends, the conference also includes a pre-conference evening dinner (18 June) giving you the opportunity to develop your network. 

    • 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

      Spaces available

      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
      21 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.