Recent Research Work

Developing research materials is one of the CIA’s fundamental activities. Thought-provoking and leading-edge research helps expand the boundaries of the profession, advances knowledge on emerging issues, lines of business, and practice areas, and aligns with the Institute’s strategic priorities. Periodic experience studies gather industry data that provide benchmarks for comparison and help to establish market trends that assist actuaries in their work. CIA research provides a unique Canadian perspective, in both official languages.

Recent Research Publications

Over the last few months, the Research Executive Committee (REC) published four papers; the REC will finalize several more projects in the next few months.

Canadian Individual Annuitant Mortality Experience (Policy Years 2005–2006 to 2014–2015)

This experience study updates the prior study with three additional years of data and replaces the Individual Annuitant Mortality 1983 Basic tables with the more recent Canadian Insured Payout Mortality 2014 tables as the expected mortality basis in the actual/expected (A/E) analysis.

The main findings are as follows:

Actuarial Review of Insurer Insolvencies and Future Preventions Phase 1 – A Review of Root Causes of Insolvencies

This study is intended to educate insurance professionals on historical insurer impairments and insolvencies and possible future prevention indicators. It explores potential risk factors insurance professionals can leverage to mitigate future insolvent situations. Including an analysis of root causes of insurer impairment and insolvency across property and casualty, life and annuity, and health insurance in the United States and Canada, this study explores potential indicators which may facilitate earlier intervention for companies at risk of becoming impaired or insolvent.

Settlement Cost Compared to Going Concern Funding Targets: Analysis of Pension Plans Registered in Ontario

Canadian pension funding regulations require two distinct types of valuation: a going concern valuation that presumes the plan will continue to operate, and a solvency valuation that presumes the plan will wind up. This research paper compares the results of these two types of valuation, to provide insight into the differences. The analysis is based on data for defined benefit pension plans registered in Ontario.

For pensions in pay, differences are mostly explained by differences in the discount rate and mortality assumption and, for indexed plans, provision for future indexing. For active plan members, the variations in results are much broader, due to anticipation of future salary increases, and provisions for early retirement.

Executive Summary and Final Report on Population Aging, Implications for Asset Values, and Impact for Pension Plans: An International Study – Phase 2

This research project studies the impact of population aging on asset values and illustrates the implications for pension plans in Canada, the US, and the UK. It involves economic-demographic modelling, modelling the demographic influence on asset class returns, and models for pension plan risk assessment. The project is expected to be completed in 2019. Throughout the project various papers and technical reports will be produced. This report provides a literature review regarding the connection between demographic factors and asset class returns/prices and provides model specifications regarding the impact of changes in demographic structure on the long-term dynamics of house prices.

Information and Involvement

For more information on the research currently underway at the CIA, visit the Research Projects page on the website. If you would like to get involved with the REC, a subcommittee of the REC, or project oversight group (POG), please contact Shlomit Jacobson, manager, research, at You can also indicate your interest in participating in research work through the My Volunteer Profile (log in before accessing this link) section of the members’ website.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires