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 want more information about our research programmes please contact the IFoA Actuarial Research Centre:


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