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The Implied Longevity Yield: A Note on Developing an Index for Life Annuities


  • Moshe A. Milevsky


I develop an index for tracking the dynamic behavior of life (pension) annuity payouts over time, based on the concept of self-annuitization. Our "implied longevity yield" (ILY) value is defined equal to the internal rate of return (IRR) over a fixed deferral period that an individual would have to earn on their investable wealth if they decided to self-annuitize using a systematic withdrawal plan. A larger ILY number indicates a greater relative benefit from immediate annuitization. I use age 65-with a 10-year period certain-compared against the same annuity at age 75 as the standard benchmark for the index, and calibrate to a comprehensive time series of weekly (Canadian) life annuity quotes from 2000 through 2004. I find that during this period the ILY varied from 5.45 percent to 6.90 percent for males and from 5.00 percent to 6.42 percent for females and was highly correlated with a duration-weighted average yield of 10-year and long-term Government of Canada bonds. I believe our ILY metric can help promote and explain the benefits of acquiring lifetime payout annuities by translating the abstract-sounding longevity insurance into more concrete and measurable financial rates of return. Copyright The Journal of Risk and Insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Moshe A. Milevsky, 2005. "The Implied Longevity Yield: A Note on Developing an Index for Life Annuities," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 72(2), pages 302-320.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:72:y:2005:i:2:p:302-320

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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Post & Helmut Gr√ľndl & Hato Schmeiser, 2006. "Portfolio management and retirement: what is the best arrangement for a family?," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 20(3), pages 265-285, September.
    2. Stone Charles A. & Zissu Anne, 2007. "Managing Viagers Securitization and Life Extension Risk," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-13, May.
    3. Horneff, Wolfram & Maurer, Raimond & Rogalla, Ralph, 2010. "Dynamic portfolio choice with deferred annuities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2652-2664, November.
    4. Yuh, Yoonkyung & Yang, Jaehwan, 2011. "The Valuation and Redistribution Effect of the Korea National Pension," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 52(1), pages 113-142, June.

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