Life expectancy has become an area of increasing focus for defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in recent years, as pensions schemes mature and de-risk.

The coronavirus pandemic has also shone a spot light on life expectancy, with increased uncertainty in how evolving factors today will affect life expectancy in the many years over which pensions are to be paid from DB pension schemes.

We believe it is important for trustees to invest time in choosing the most appropriate longevity assumptions to use. Here are three reasons why:

  • To budget for the right cost. The better the estimate you make of longevity, the less chance there is that additional cost will gradually emerge over time. 
  • To understand the size of the risk. If trends in infectious diseases or healthcare changed, or if some of your members just happened to live longer than expected, would this cause your scheme serious issues, or could you ride it out? 
  • To ensure you are fulfilling your trustee duties. The Pensions Regulator’s guidance is that trustees should consider evidence when setting mortality assumptions.

Our client teams work in tandem with our expert longevity consultants to provide an informative report, making the best use of the data available and tailored to the specific needs of your scheme.

This report is intended to inform your understanding of the assumptions being considered for the forthcoming valuation, i.e. the choice of base table, any adjustments needed to it and an allowance for future improvements in longevity.

It also provides schemes with an understanding of the level of prudence contained in the mortality assumptions, to give confidence that the assumptions are reasonable for the scheme’s members.

Longevity analysis for defined benefit pension schemes

Barnett Waddingham provides a flexible longevity analysis service; making best use of the data available and tailored to the specific needs of the trustees, at an affordable cost.

Read our overview

Contact us for all enquiries

If you're looking for expert help or further information, please call on 0333 11 11 222 or email Will Rice, Head of Longevity for Pension Schemes.

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