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Use of Big Health and Actuarial Data for understanding Longevity and Morbidity Risks

This five-year research programme was commissioned in 2016 to develop new methods for assessing basis risk and evaluating longevity improvement based on Big Health and Actuarial Data

Programme objectives

  • identification and quantification of the key factors affecting mortality/longevity such as lifestyle choices, medical conditions and/or interventions
  • modelling of temporal changes in the factors affecting morbidity and mortality
  • evaluation of plausible scenarios in mortality trends due to particular medical advances or lifestyle changes on the population of insureds of relevance to actuarial community
  • tools to forecast longevity risk of a book based on realistic scenarios of uptake of various health behaviours and/or interventions, or of particular disruptions to population health.
The multidisciplinary University of East Anglia (UEA)/Aviva team was led by Prof Elena Kulinskaya and included actuaries, statisticians, health economists, computer scientists and medical researchers. The funding supported three PhD students and a postdoctoral researcher.  Below is a summary of what was achieved to date.

Research outputs

Life expectancy calculator

On 3 September 2020, the research programme launched mylongevity.org to help illustrate the effect of various medical and lifestyle factors on life expectancy. The Mylongevity app uses big data from anonymised electronic health records in England and Wales to calculate life expectancy, taking into account socio-demographic and health characteristics such as chronic diseases.
 
The new app could potentially bring practical benefits, such as helping people plan for retirement. It could also contribute to scientific understanding of how certain behaviours and lifestyles affect longevity.
 
The app uses calculations based on UK life expectancy figures published by the Office for National Statistics and then refined by the researchers. The ARC Programme identified and quantified the key factors affecting mortality and longevity and translated the results of their analysis into life expectancies for different risk profiles.

Publications

Presentations

 
The research team have presented their findings at top actuarial and statistical conferences, including the Actuarial Teachers and Researchers Conference (Dublin 2021), International Conference in Actuarial Science, Data Science and Finance (2020), Insurance Data Science Conference (Zurich 2019), International Congress of Actuaries (Berlin 2018), International Biometric Society Conference (Barcelona 2018), International Society for Clinical Biostatistics Conferences (Vigo 2017, Belgium 2019), Mortality and Longevity Symposiums (2016, 2019), Life Conference (2017), Royal Statistical Society conference (2017, 2019) and Actuarial Research Conference (2016).

Contact Details

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

arc@actuaries.org.uk

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Start date
E.g., 04/12/2021
End date
E.g., 04/12/2021

Events calendar

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Fully booked.

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    Actuaries need to take action now - but how?  With a focus on climate change, this session will provide informed insight to enable you to improve your knowledge and understanding of the issues involved, demonstrate how it will impact advice to your clients, and highlight prospective opportunities for actuaries within pensions and wider fields.

  • Spaces available

    A joint webinar from the CMI Mortality Projections and SAPS committees that will cover: recent mortality experience in the SAPS dataset and the general population; the CMI Model benchmarking survey; the MPC 2021 interim update paper; plans for CMI_2021; and initial thoughts on possible "S4" Series pensioner mortality tables.

    The webinar will be presented by Cobus Daneel (Chair of Mortality Projections Committee) and Matthew Fletcher (Chair of SAPS Committee).

  • Spaces available

    Pension scams have become more prevalent as a result of the pandemic, and Trustees have increased responsibilities to protect members, which means that actuaries need to be in a position to provide advice in this area. Our specialist panel will include a professional trustee, an IFA and head administrator, two of whom are members of PASA.

  • Spaces available

    The Covid-19 pandemic creates a challenge for actuaries analysing experience data that includes mortality shocks.  To address this we present a methodology for modelling portfolio mortality data that offers local flexibility in the time dimension.  The approach permits the identification of seasonal variation, mortality shocks, and late-reported deaths.  The methodology also allows actuaries to measure portfolio-specific mortality improvements.  Results are given for a mature annuity portfolio in the UK

  • Spaces available

    In this webinar, the authors of the 2021 Brian Hey prize winning paper present a new deep learning model called the LocalGLMnet. While deep learning models lead to very competitive regression models, often outperforming classical statistical models such as generalized linear models, the disadvantage is that deep learning solutions are difficult to interpret and explain, and variable selection is not easily possible.

  • Spaces available

    The dominant underwriting approach is a mix between rule-based engines and traditional underwriting. Applications are first assessed by automated rule-based engines which typically are capable of processing only simple applications. The remaining applications are reviewed by underwriters or referred to the reinsurers. This research aims to construct predictive machine learning models for complicated applications that cannot be processed by rule-based engines.

  • Spaces available

    With the Pension Schemes Act 2021 requiring a long term strategy from Trustees and sponsors, choosing a pensions endgame strategy has become even more critical. However, it is important that the endgame options available are adequately assessed before choosing one. With an ever-increasing array of creative and innovative options available, this decision may not be straightforward.