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Actuarial assumptions

Actuarial assumptions are used to calculate retirement benefits or life insurance payments. On this page you can access a range of articles, books and online resources providing quick links to reports, surveys and life tables.

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Useful links

Life tables

Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI)
Research from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries providing base mortality tables, reports and information, including:

National life tables
Official source for the life tables from the Office for National Statistics which have been responsible for producing national life tables since 31st January 2006. The tables cover trends for the average number of years people in the UK and constituent countries will live beyond their current age, analysed by age and sex. 

Historical national life tables
Information on life tables from the Government Actuary's Department which was responsible for producing national life tables until 31st January 2006. Historic life tables are still available on the GAD website.

Reports, surveys and other publications

2021 Global survey of accounting assumptions for defined benefit plans
Annual survey from the global consultancy firm Willis Towers Watson. The 2021 edition covers 1,464 companies in 49 countries. 

Accounting for pensions 2021
Annual survey of pension disclosures made by FTSE 100 companies produced by Lane, Clark & Peacock (LCP). The reports include an analysis of the assumptions used by companies.

Apocalyptic demography: Putting longevity risk in perspective
Report and checklist published by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in association with the Pensions Institute at Cass Business School. The report aims to help 'finance directors to put longevity risk in perspective by focusing on issues such as current life expectancy, projected life expectancy and the types of longevity risk to which their organisation may be susceptible'.

Charting mortality trends: Navigating to your destination
An LCP 2021 report analysing recent trends in mortality, including the impact of COVID-19. 

Mortality assumptions guidance
Pensions Regulator guidance outlining how trustees should go about deciding on mortality assumptions in an actuarial valuation for a defined benefit pension scheme. Issued in September 2008.

Pensions accounting survey 2019 
Annual KPMG survey which looks at trends in best estimate assumptions. 

Pensions accounting trends - 31 March 2021
PWC insights into current pensions accounting developments, including the impact of COVID-19 in the UK.

Pensions: actuarial factors used to calculate benefits in UK pension schemes
An Institute and Faculty of Actuaries 2020 report looking at current practices adopted by actuaries in this area, including how factors such as commutation at retirement are determined for schemes, and how frequently these factors are reviewed. 

Questions for users of actuarial work: Pension scheme funding
The Financial Reporting Council has published a series of questions which pension scheme trustees may wish to ask themselves and their actuaries. The publication was announced in the FRC press release 'FRC publishes targeted questions for users of actuarial information' on 30 November 2011.

Savings goals for retirement
A Institute and Faculty of Actuaries 2019 report which uses actuarial analysis to give savers an idea of how much they might need to save in order to reach a certain lifestyle in retirement. 

Articles and books in the Library collection

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