Pensions and genetics: Can longevity genes be reliable risk factors for annuity pricing?

Angus Macdonald, Kenneth McIvor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider a number of gene variants that have been found to affect longevity. Their effects have been modelled using Cox or logistic regressions, whose fitted parameters have simple asymptotic sampling distributions. The expected present value of a life annuity allowing for these genetic risk estimates inherits a sampling distribution, which can be found by simulation. We find that possibly significant uncertainty about annuity premiums may be overlooked if the standard errors of parameters estimated in medical studies are ignored by medical underwriters. Such considerations may play an important part when the acceptability of using a risk factor in underwriting is conditional on proof of its relevance and reliability. This is the current position in respect of genetic information in many countries, most prominently in the UK. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalScandinavian Actuarial Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Annuities
  • APOE
  • Cox model
  • Genetics
  • Longevity
  • Odds ratio
  • Relative risk


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