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)

Municipal Assets Infrastructure Develops an aging model for municipal assets to create a viable funding model for future repair and replacement.

Preliminary phase

 Project  Description  Status
Group LTD Phase I

An updated study of Canadian group long-term disability termination tables based on more recent experience. A two-phase project.


Group LTD Phase II The data collected in preparing a new long-term disability (LTD) table is being analyzed to determine the effects on experience of each of the common rating factors and to see if there are important interrelations of the factors.

Preliminary phase

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 #2 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. 

Preliminary phase

 Project  Description  Status
Markov Model for Mortality

This study considers extending the Markov aging mortality model to a more general latent class model, where the dynamic relationship between latent—health state—variable and several dimensions of health-related observations can be incorporated.


Predictive Analytics for Life Insurance Studies predictive modelling methods and techniques and how they can be applied to the life insurance sector. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA
Two-Dimensional Mortality Improvement Scales Develops a stochastic mortality model allowing the production of two-dimensional mortality improvement scales with solid statistical justifications. The study also derives measures of uncertainty for mortality projections obtained from a two-dimensional scale. Active
2015–16 Life Mortality Latest update of periodic study. Active
C1 Risk Survey and Report Continuation of annual reports. (Note: C-1 risk survey was not produced for year-end 2015.) Active
Segregated Fund Policyholder Behaviour Three studies are being completed: a Canadian segregated fund policyholder behaviour company practices survey, a Canadian segregated fund policyholder experience study, and a Canadian segregated fund mortality experience study. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA)
Credibility Theory for Life Insurance Examines how concepts related to credibility theory can be applied to a life insurance framework. Active (joint project: CIA/SOA)
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. Preliminary phase (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.

Preliminary phase

Living Benefits
 Project  Description  Status
2016 CI Claims Study

Biannual update of the ongoing study.


 Project  Description  Status
Hierarchical Pricing Models

An academic study examining the levels of interdependence between risks, insureds, and coverages for homeowners and car insurance to better estimate premiums and possible discounts.


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. Preliminary phase

Pension/Group Annuity
 Project  Description  Status
Group Annuitant Mortality Experience Study Analyzes the mortality experience of Canadian individual payment annuities for the 10-year period from policy years 2005–2006 to policy years 2014–2015.


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)
CIA Public Statements The CIA Board has approved the development of a public statement on the topic of retirement age. Funds have been earmarked to conduct any research necessary to support this statement. Preliminary phase
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.

Preliminary phase
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. Preliminary phase
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

 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

Most Recent Research Papers