Society of Actuaries Releases New Private Sector Mortality Tables, Pri-2012

Pri-2012 updates and replaces the SOA’s RP-2006 Mortality Tables


SCHAUMBURG, Ill., October 23, 2019 – The Society of Actuaries (SOA) published updated private sector mortality tables, Pri-2012, providing a new basis for mortality assumptions for U.S. pension plans. Honoring its commitment to update its base mortality tables every five years, the SOA developed Pri-2012, which serves as a replacement to the SOA’s prior tables, RP-2006. The SOA finalized the Pri-2012 tables following an exposure draft in May 2019, incorporating clarifying language but no material changes.

Pri-2012 follows a similar naming convention to prior SOA tables: “Pri” is short for “private retirement plan,” and “2012” represents the central year of the final dataset from which the mortality tables were developed.

The dataset includes data from 2010-2014, covering approximately 16.1 million life-years of exposure and 343,000 deaths from private-sector plans across the U.S.

Analysis of this comprehensive data reveals the following implications for private pension plans:

  • Pension Liabilities: Most plan sponsors that update their mortality assumptions from the RP-2006 tables to the Pri-2012 tables will experience only a small change in their pension liabilities, usually within plus or minus one percent. The amount will vary depending on the plan’s mix of occupations, ages and gender, as well as the discount rate and other assumptions used to compute liabilities.
  • Life Expectancy: When moving from the RP-2006 tables to the Pri-2012 tables, the life expectancy of a 65-year-old female pension plan participant remains roughly unchanged at 87.4 years. Meanwhile, the life expectancy for a 65-year-old male pension plan participant decreases 0.3 years, from 85.0 years to 84.7 years.
  • Mortality Predictors: Participants in multiemployer plans did not exhibit significantly different mortality than participants in single employer plans after controlling for other factors, such as collar type and income level. Additionally, the SOA found that type of occupation (blue-collar vs. white-collar) is emerging as a stronger predictor of mortality than plan benefit amount.

“The Pri-2012 dataset is almost fifty percent larger than the data that was available when we developed our previous tables five years ago,” said Dale Hall, FSA, CERA, MAAA, CFA and Managing Director of Research for the SOA. “We’re proud to provide such a robust dataset to arm pension actuaries and plan sponsors with the latest data to measure private pension plan obligations and make forward-looking mortality assumptions.”

For additional information, including the full Pri-2012 report, please visit

About the Society of Actuaries

With roots dating back to 1889, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the world’s largest actuarial professional organization with more than 32,000 actuaries as members. Through research and education, the SOA's mission is to advance actuarial knowledge and to enhance the ability of actuaries to provide expert advice and relevant solutions for financial, business and societal challenges. The SOA's vision is for actuaries to be the leading professionals in the measurement and management of risk.