This report provides an overview of trends in mortality and the different approaches to develop mortality tables used in the context of the provision of retirement income, with a view to ensure that they are adequate to protect people’s retirement incomes. Mortality assumptions are crucial to ensure the sustainability of lifetime retirement income for pensioners and that there will be sufficient assets for providers to meet their payment obligations. This report looks at the longevity trends and drivers over the last several decades, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also explores considerations and traditional approaches for developing mortality tables, and details the standard mortality tables used across OECD member countries. It concludes with guidelines to assist regulators and supervisors in developing mortality tables and assessing whether the assumptions used in the context of retirement income provision are appropriate.

This report is an output from the pension unit in the Consumer Finance, Insurance, and Pensions Division of the OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs. National government delegates reviewed the different chapters, which benefited from their contributions, particularly delegates to the Insurance and Private Pensions Committee, and the Working Party on Private Pensions, as well as members of the International Organisation of Pensions Supervisors. The International Association of Actuaries also reviewed the work and provided useful comments. The views expressed here do not necessarily correspond to those of the national authorities or institutions concerned.

The report was prepared by Jessica Mosher under the supervision of Pablo Antolín, Senior Policy Analyst, and the oversight of Flore-Anne Messy, Head of the Consumer Finance, Insurance and Pensions Division within the OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise. Editorial and communication support was provided by Eva Abbott and Liv Gudmundson.

The OECD gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the Chilean Comisión del Mercado Financiero (CMF) and the Superintendency of Pensions (SP), who have also contributed to the content included in this report.

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