You are here

Population Ageing, Implications for Asset Values, and Impact for Pension Plans: An International Study

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is co-sponsoring an international research project, looking into the impact ageing populations have on asset values over long time periods and considering the potential impact on large pension plans in Canada, the UK and the United States. The research is being conducted by the University of Waterloo (Canada) and the University of Kent (UK)

The Population Ageing, Implications for Asset Values, and Impact for Pension Plans: An International Study project is primarily funded by the Canadian Funding Body SSHRC, with additional financial support from the IFoA, the Society of Actuaries in the USA, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, University of Waterloo and University of Kent.

As part of this wider project, the IFoA is funding a PhD student (Aniketh Pittea), based at the University of Kent, who is specifically focusing on:

  • developing a generic economic capital model of a large pension plan which can suitably be adapted to represent pension schemes in the UK, US, Canada and other developing countries
  • implementing and integrating the demographic and asset valuation models, developed during the other phases of the research initiative, in the economic capital model of the pension plan
  • analysing the impact and sensitivity of demographic structure and asset valuation models on the financial risk management of pension plan
  • suggesting alternative risk mitigating strategies that can be employed by pension plans to cope with the underlying risks.

The research project will break new ground by incorporating gender into an overlapping generations model to better understand the differences in retirement outcomes for males and females.  It is also set to include international capital flows in the analysis and will consider the impact on specific asset classes, such as equities, property and infrastructure.

The research findings will have important implications for pension funds, asset managers, and individuals. If asset prices are materially affected by an ageing population, then actuaries and risk managers need to incorporate this consideration into their work.

Latest news

Ageing Population International Research Review Group - seeking new members

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is seeking the support of two members to volunteer to join a review group which is currently overseeing a joint research project entitled “Population Ageing, Implications for Asset Values, and Impact for Pension Plans: An International Study.”

Background on the project: This project is a global research initiative undertaken by researchers at University of Waterloo and University of Kent, with support from the IFoA and other organisations.  This includes actuarial professional bodies in North America.  The research will consider the impact an ageing population could have on asset values and, in turn, pension funds. To make the research more relevant to the public and policymakers, it will consider the potential impact on large pension plans in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Broader issues of identifying and isolating the impact of changes in population structure will be investigated to refine or enhance available techniques and tools, potentially develop new ones.

Purpose of the Review Group: This group was set up in 2015 to oversee the project as a whole. Participation in the Review Group will involve:

Dialling in to quarterly meetings by conference call
Receiving updates on progress, discussing future work and the timing of the project
Providing feedback on the work and/or suggesting alternative approaches
Providing quality assurance
Providing the researchers with practitioner insight to maximise relevance of the research

Read more about this opportunity 


We are delighted to announce that this research team were selected for a Best Paper Award at the recent International Congress of Actuaries in Berlin.

Countries with an ageing population are concerned that the expected drop in saving and investment will result in substantially diminished asset prices and compromised pension plans. This award-winning paper contributes to the quantification of the link between population structure and asset values, by modelling returns on assets in the presence of demographic change.

photo of best paper award at ICA

From left to right Lori Curtis, Kate Rybczynski, Steve Bonnar (all University of Waterloo), Jaideep Oberoi (University of Kent), award presenter (Juergen Bierbaum). Other co-authors not present: Miguel Leon-Ledesma (University of Kent) and Mark Zhou (CMHC). It was the ICA 2018 Best Paper Award - Demographic Change and Longevity and the presenter stated that one aspect of the paper which the committee liked was the way it combined economic models with actuarial science.


Research commissioned by: The IFoA, Society of Actuaries, Canadian Institute of Actuaries, SSHRC, University of Waterloo and the University of Kent
Project conducted by: University of Waterloo and the University of Kent
Period of research: 2016 – 2020

You might also like

Contact Details

If you have any questions or wish to discuss any aspect of research carried out through the Actuarial Research Centre (ARC), please contact the Research and Knowledge Team.