Research Projects

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.

Current Projects by Line of Business and Practice Area

Actuarial Evidence
 Project  Description  Status
Impact of Disability on Earnings This first study of its kind examines the impact of different levels of disability on future earnings. Preliminary phase
Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)
 Project  Description  Status
ERM for Long-Term Care The application of enterprise risk management to long‐term care at the country/government level to serve the Canadian public as well as other countries.

Active (joint project: CIA/SOA)

2019 Emerging Risk Survey  Annual Emerging Risks Survey of Risk Managers from the Joint Risk Management Section (JRMS) of the CIA, Casualty Actuarial Society, and the Society of Actuaries. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA/CAS)

 Project  Description  Status
Premium Waiver The table used to price and value group premium waiver benefits is badly dated. The current project will use similar methods as the old table but with the data from the most recent LTD termination and incidence study. Active

Individual Annuity
 Project  Description  Status
Drawdown-Based Fee Structure for Variable Annuities

Aims to develop a novel fee structure for variable annuities utilizing the drawdown measure, and demonstrate its effectiveness to address ongoing issues with standard variable annuity products.


 Project  Description  Status

Delphi Study on Economic Variables

The Delphi technique is a multi-round forecasting method that utilizes a panel of experts with diverse backgrounds to provide forecasts and rationales for their forecasts. This study will produce forecasts that can serve as another source of input for calibrations of economic assumptions used for financial projections and, at the same time, demonstrate the use of the Delphi method and other techniques for incorporating expert judgment. 

Active (joint project: CIA/SOA)

Impact of Population Aging on Asset Values

Explore the impact of population aging on economic variables. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA/IFoA)
Economic Statistics 2018 Regular update. Active

 Project  Description  Status
Canadian Post-level Term A first CIA study using predictive analytics to examine the lapse experience of term insurance policies once they reach their first renewal. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA)
A Holistic Approach to Hedging Optimization and Capital Requirements Calculation for Segregated Funds Insurers issuing segregated funds policies apply dynamic hedging schemes to mitigate the risk associated with implicit options embedded in such policies. The design of the hedging strategy for segregated funds is very complex due to exposure to a wide array of interrelated risks.

The main objective of the current research project is to design a holistic hedging scheme which is sufficiently flexible to apply to various guarantee specifications and underlying mutual fund types. It will incorporate many risks such as equity risk, interest rate term structure risk, policyholder behaviour risk, mortality risk, basis risk, and model risk.

2017–18 Life Mortality Latest update of periodic study. Active
Common Mortality Index An academic study that aims to establish innovative multi-population mortality models based on the rationale that the various populations enjoy certain commonality in their respective ways of evolving over time. Active

Living Benefits
 Project  Description  Status

 Project  Description  Status
Ontario Accident Benefits for Long-Term Disability Describes how differences in the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Statistical Plan legislation were treated; comments on legislative impact on LTD termination rates and annuity factor evaluation; and reviews the Ontario automobile LTD experience from 1994–2012. Active
Efficient and Robust Maximum Likelihood Estimation of the Pareto Tail Index In actuarial science, the Pareto distribution is a useful tool for modelling loss in insurance applications, in particular for the riskier types of insurance with extreme losses such as medical malpractice insurance. Estimation of the shape parameter of the Pareto distribution, also known as Pareto tail index, is a crucial step for the actuary. The goal of the current project is to design a new estimator of the Pareto tail index that makes practically no compromises between efficiency and robustness. Active
Pricing and Diversification of Flood Risk in Canada Using a combination of climate and statistical models, this research project analyzes pricing and spatial diversification of flood risk in Canada. The project will help insurance companies manage flood insurance in the short term and determine whether such insurance will be viable in the long term as a result of climate change. Active

Pension/Group Annuity
 Project  Description  Status
Impact of Longevity Provision on Canadian Retirement Income Planning An academic study that examines how the provision of longevity annuities can impact retirement planning based on Canadian-specific assumptions, to help individuals plan their retirement income and usage of annuities. Active
Impact of Population Aging on Asset Values Explores the impact of population aging on economic variables. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA/IFoA)
Modern Metrics for Intergenerational Equity in Occupational Pensions Intergenerational equity has long been an important consideration in the management of social security programs and blocks of annuity business but received relatively little attention in the occupational pension sphere until recently.

Proper dialogue around intergenerational equity is severely hindered by three factors: (1) the lack of uniform definitions and language, (2) practitioners’ lack of familiarity with existing metrics for intergenerational equity, and (3) limited availability of modern, forward-looking metrics. The objective of the current project is to catalogue relevant definitions of intergenerational equity, identify existing metrics, and develop new ones suitable for occupational pensions in stochastic applications.

Longevity and Mortality Hedging A study of the effectiveness of longevity- and mortality-linked financial derivatives as hedging instruments in a pension risk management strategy. This project should contribute to the development of capital market solutions in the mitigation of longevity or mortality risk, from an academic and scientific point of view. Active
Pensions and Low Interest Rates ­ An assessment of the impact of a persistent low interest rate environment on the Canadian retirement system. This project would evaluate how the long-term low interest rate scenario affects each type of retirement income security.    Active
The Alone Stage of Retirement Describes the financial and social issues likely to be faced by many Canadians in the alone stage of retirement, offers ideas to address these issues, and provides some analysis regarding the likely cost and effectiveness of such ideas Active (joint project: CIA/SOA)
Longevity and Morbidity Risk II Model, measure, and manage longevity and morbidity. Application driven, with impact and innovation in the pension and insurance industries from a global perspective. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA/IFoA)
Classification of Risk-Shared Pension Plans This project reviews the risk characteristics of different types of shared-risk or target benefit pension plans that already exist in Canada and a few other types of plans that might be possible. It will examine how they are classified under tax, accounting, and minimum standards rules and regulations. The plans will be classified according to the participation in risk sharing by employers, employee, and former employees, the limits on variations in past service and current service contributions, and the types of risks that are shared. The differences will be illustrated in terms of different outcomes for first and second generations of participants. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA)
Retirement Risk Survey Canadians will be surveyed on their awareness of the risks associated with retirement. The focus will be on perception vs. reality when it comes to areas such as longevity, probability of needing long-term care, etc., in order to identify levels of preparedness, awareness, and potential areas of improvement for the public and policymakers. Active
Take-up Rates for Deferral of CPP Benefits This project produces a simple, understandable, and evidence-based reference on the best ages to take up CPP for Canadians with various financial and personal situations. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA)

 Project  Description  Status
CIA Member Ethical Concerns Survey Building on a similar study conducted by the American Academy of Actuaries, this initiative will survey CIA members on the ethical challenges they face in their practice, the causes of these issues, and possible solutions. Active
The Future of Home, Community, and Long-Term Care This project will examine the system of care for older Canadians across the spectrum of home, community, and institutional-based long-term care (“Senior Care”). Across three interconnected reports, this project will look at the projected costs to government of meeting demand as the population ages and will assess current models of care delivery and alternate models that might better suit the needs of older Canadians. Finally, the project will make a case for meaningful reforms to the delivery of care and identify potential cost savings that can be achieved by modernizing our approach to home, community, and institutional-based care. “Senior Care” is an extensively multidisciplinary area of research and practice, and this project purposefully brings together “health” and “wealth” expertise on the topic. Active (joint project: National Institute on Aging (NIA), AdvantAge Ontario, Essity, Home Instead Senior Care)
Quantifying Cyber Risk for Actuaries Develop an economics-based risk analysis framework to help actuaries quantify cyber security risk into monetary value. Active (join project: CIA/SOA/CAS)
Quantifying the Welfare Impacts of Pension Mergers The ultimate goal of this project is to add a quantitative element to the discussion of the merits of pension plans mergers and consolidation, by providing a framework and an evaluation mechanisms under which the welfare impacts of various deals can be assessed. The model will take into account factors such as asset allocation, economies of scale, and longevity risk. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA)


Most Recent Research Papers