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How Has COVID-19 Impacted Canadian Defined Benefit Pensioner Longevity?

COVID-19 rapidly turned many aspects of our lives upside-down. For someone working in the fairly specialized world of longevity analytics, it was eerie and surreal to have the discussion of deaths and mortality quickly become so prolific throughout mainstream media. On one hand, all the reporting of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths helped quantify what was happening but it also drew attention to the fact that the data and tools to gain a complete picture were lacking.

Traditionally there has been a lag of a couple of (or many) years between the latest data available for longevity analysis and when the results of the analysis are released, stemming from the time needed to compile, validate and analyze longevity data. This meant that throughout much of 2020 we didn’t have a clear picture of how COVID-19 was impacting overall Canadian mortality. We knew that there were significant numbers of deaths due to COVID-19, but we didn’t know exactly how this was impacting overall mortality due to a lack of up-to-date Canadian death data. Now, eighteen months after the pandemic reached Canada, we have a much better picture of COVID-19’s impact on Canadian longevity to date and also have an improved, albeit far from perfect, ability to investigate what the pandemic may mean for future longevity.

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