Basis Risk in Index Based Longevity Hedges: A Guide For Longevity Hedgers

Andrew John George Cairns, Ghali El Boukfaoui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
304 Downloads (Pure)


This article considers the assessment of longevity basis risk in the context of a general index-based hedge. We develop a detailed framework for measuring the impact of a hedge on regulatory or economic capital that takes population basis risk explicitly into account. The framework is set up in a way that accommodates a variety of regulatory regimes such as Solvency II as well as local actuarial practice, attempting, therefore, to bridge the gap between academia and practice. This is followed by a detailed analysis of the capital relief resulting from a hedge that uses a call spread as the hedging instrument. We find that the impact of population basis risk on capital relief (expressed in terms of a “haircut” relative to the case with no population basis risk) depends strongly on the exhaustion point of the hedge instrument. In particular, in a Solvency II setting, if the exhaustion point lies well below the 99.5% Value-at-Risk, population basis risk has a negligible impact and the haircut is zero.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S97-S118
Number of pages22
JournalNorth American Actuarial Journal
Issue numbersup1
Early online date17 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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