Mortality data and the actuarial tables
The new tables published last week by the Government Actuary at the new discount rate of -0.25% are based on the same mortality data that was used in the last edition of the Ogden tables (7th Edition). The tables are thus based on the 2008 projected data.
The Office of National Statistics are due to publish updated mortality statistics at the end of the year. It is understood that at that point the Government Actuary will publish updated tables at the prevailing discount rate using the new mortality data.
No publication date has yet been given but based on previous experience we would expect this to take place in or around November of this year, with the updated tables following a short time afterwards.
What are the implications of this?
- Indications are that the rate of increase in mortality rates has slowed and in some parts of the country may even have gone into reverse. The data takes an average across the UK so one might expect the new data to militate the impact of any improvement in mortality rates since 2008. The pattern will of course differ depending on the age of the claimant.
- Whilst insurers will be keen to ensure (where possible) that the assumed life expectancy is adjusted downwards for underlying medical issues not reflected in the data, claimant lawyers will be equally keen to try to argue that any positive factors that may exist for claimants are equally reflected. Once we move away from the standard mortality all bets are off!
The tables can be accessed here.