Longevity Hedging 101: A Framework for Longevity Basis Risk Analysis and Hedge Effectiveness
North American Actuarial Journal, Volume 15, Number 2, 2011
38 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2020
Date Written: 2011
Basis risk is an important consideration when hedging longevity risk with instruments based on longevity indices, since the longevity experience of the hedged exposure may differ from that of the index. As a result, any decision to execute an index-based hedge requires a framework for (1) developing an informed understanding of the basis risk, (2) appropriately calibrating the hedging instrument, and (3) evaluating hedge effectiveness. We describe such a framework and apply it to a U.K. case study, which compares the population of assured lives from the Continuous Mortality Investigation with the England and Wales national population. The framework is founded on an analysis of historical experience data, together with an appreciation of the contextual relationship between the two related populations in social, economic, and demographic terms. Despite the different demographic profiles, the case study provides evidence of stable long-term relationships between the mortality experiences of the two populations. This suggests the important result that high levels of hedge effectiveness should be achievable with appropriately calibrated, static, index-based longevity hedges. Indeed, this is borne out in detailed calculations of hedge effectiveness for a hypothetical pension portfolio where the basis risk is based on the case study. A robustness check involving populations from the United States yields similar results.
Keywords: Longevity hedging, longevity index, longevity basis risk, stochastic mortality, two populations, hedge effectiveness
JEL Classification: G22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation