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\koʊˈvɛər i ɪt\

A rating factor, or covariate, is a characteristic that could potentially be used to identify different mortality rates between individuals.

The differentiation between individuals with different characteristics (i.e, different values of rating factors) will increase the extent to which assumed mortality rates and survival curves can be tailored for a particular pension plan.

Examples of covariates that are normally capable of analysis in studies of longevity include age, gender, income level, reason for retirement, age of retirement, duration since retirement, marital status, location and socio-economic indicators derived from the retiree’s location.

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