SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- A survey of experts conducted during a seminar on social security and mortality improvement in the NAFTA countries calls for development of forecasting methods with greater heed to uncertainty so that financing needs for social security can be more accurately projected.
A preliminary analysis of the survey points to the "medical advances, lifestyle changes, economic resources and distribution of resources by sub-populations and the physical environment" and their as-yet unknown impacts. In light of those and other uncertainties, the experts said "the modeling process of (mortality) projections should be dynamic and incorporate random shocks to the system to account for catastrophes, whether they be war or epidemics, and other unanticipated twists."
Survey results will serve as the basis for Phase 3 of the project, which will test the impact of new mortality rates on social security financing for Canada, Mexico and the United States against the impact of current rates. Phase 3 results will be announced during the Society's Feb. 17 session at the 1998 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Feb. 12-17, Philadelphia.
The survey was conducted during an invitation-only, multidisciplinary seminar sponsored by the Society of Actuaries on Oct. 30 in Washington, D.C. The seminar was Phase 2 of a three-phase project, "Impact of Mortality Improvement on Social Security: Canada, Mexico, and the United States," sponsored by the Society and cosponsored by the social security administrations of the three countries. Nearly three-fourths of the 80 actuaries, demographers, economists, medical researchers and public policy analysts attending the seminar responded to the survey. The three NAFTA countries and the United Kingdom were represented among the attendees.
The survey covered three areas: forecast methodology, factors affecting
mortality improvement, and quantitative asses
Contact: Jacqueline Bitowt
Society of Actuaries