Mortality Improvements -- The Case of South Africa

Posted: 2 Aug 2014 Last revised: 28 Oct 2014

See all articles by Ronald Richman

Ronald Richman

QED Actuaries and Consultants

Matthew Simmons

University of the Witwatersrand

Date Written: August 1, 2014


We remedy the lack of quantified mortality improvement information for South Africa by deriving forecasts of the mortality trend based on the South African experience for the years 1996-2011 using the Lee-Carter (1985) and Cairns-Blake-Dowd (2006) models. We utilize a public health perspective to provide context to the modelled forecasts. Conversely, we discuss the possible benefits to public health policy provided by actuarial forecasts of mortality trends. Our results, which indicate a decreasing mortality trend for the geriatric population, are used to illustrate a range of annuity values and comment on the industry use of the PA(90) table. Lastly, we discuss possible implications of our forecast for future public health decision making and point the way to future research.

Note: Working paper is under review.

Keywords: Mortality Improvement, South Africa, Stochastic modeling

Suggested Citation

Richman, Ronald and Simmons, Matthew, Mortality Improvements -- The Case of South Africa (August 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Ronald Richman (Contact Author)

QED Actuaries and Consultants ( email )

No Address Available

Matthew Simmons

University of the Witwatersrand ( email )

1 Jan Smuts Avenue
Johannesburg, Gauteng 2000
South Africa

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