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Request For Proposal Mortality Analysis of 1900 Birth Cohort


Estimating advanced age mortality is enigmatic, due primarily to lack of reliable data above age 100.  The birth year 1900 cohort for the US presents a unique opportunity to analyze the mortality of this cohort at advanced ages with a high level of confidence in the results.  Advanced ages can be easily verified as this cohort was too young to qualify for Medicare when it was first introduced, so proof of age was required when they qualified in the following year.  Deaths from this cohort and subsequent cohorts at ages 65 and up should be available in governmental records such as the SSA Death Master File.

As advanced age mortality rates for insurer and industry tables are often taken directly from analysis of US population data, better understanding the mortality of this birth cohort could help actuaries and others refine current estimates and projections for high age mortality rates.

Research Objective

The Reinsurance Section and the Committee on Life Insurance Research are seeking a researcher(s) to perform a mortality analysis of the US 1900 birth cohort. Using data sources such as the SSA Death Master File, the International Database on Longevity, the National Death Index, and relevant commercial or other data sources and information, the researcher(s) at a minimum will estimate the force of mortality by month of age for ages 85 and up, separately by gender, for the birth year 1900 cohort for the US. 

The results will be summarized into a report to be made publicly available on the SOA's website. The researcher should also comment on the reliability of the data and describe tests used to validate the data. The project description and expected deliverable(s) have been intentionally written to be brief to give researcher(s) sufficient latitude in the development of the proposals. While the researcher(s) is required to perform the stated minimum analysis, researcher(s) may propose to perform additional analyses. Among the additional areas for analysis are examining the mortality of the US 1900 birth cohort by cause of death, socioeconomic status, and/or geography. Broadening the birth cohort to include the early 1900's would also be valuable.


To facilitate the evaluation of proposals, the following information should be submitted:

  1. Resumes of the researcher(s), including any graduate student(s) expected to participate, indicating how their background, education and experience bear on their qualifications to undertake the research. If more than one researcher is involved, a single individual should be designated as the lead researcher and primary contact. The person submitting the proposal must be authorized to speak on behalf of all the researchers as well as for the firm or institution on whose behalf the proposal is submitted.
  2. An outline of the approach to be used (e.g. literature search, model, etc.), emphasizing issues that require special consideration. Details should be given regarding the techniques to be used, data sources to be used including the reasoning for selecting the data sources for the project versus other available relevant data, collateral material to be consulted, and possible limitations of the analysis.
  3. A description of the expected deliverables and any supporting data, tools or other resources.
  4. Cost estimates for the research, including computer time, salaries, report preparation, material costs, etc. Such estimates can be in the form of hourly rates, but in such cases, time estimates should also be included. Any guarantees as to total cost should be given and will be considered in the evaluation of the proposal. While cost will be a factor in the evaluation of the proposal, it will not necessarily be the decisive factor. Costs estimates should be split to show the cost estimates for the minimum mortality analysis and for each of the additional mortality analysis proposed.
  5. A schedule for completion of the research, identifying key dates or time frames for research completion and report submissions.  The Reinsurance Section and the Committee on Life Insurance Research are interested in completing this project in a timely manner.  Suggestions in the proposal for ensuring timely delivery, such as fee adjustments, are encouraged.
  6. Other related factors that give evidence of a proposer's capabilities to perform in a superior fashion should be detailed. 

Selection Process

 The Reinsurance Section and the Committee on Life Insurance Research will appoint a Project Oversight Group (POG) to oversee the project. The POG is responsible for the selection of the proposal to be funded. Input from other knowledgeable individuals also may be sought, but the POG will make the final decision. The SOA's Research Actuary will provide staff actuarial support.


Any questions regarding this RFP should be directed to Ronora Stryker, SOA Research Actuary (phone: +1-847-706-3614; email:    

Notification of intent to submit proposal

If you intend to submit a proposal, please e-mail written notification by January 31, 2016 to Jan Schuh

Submission of Proposal

Please e-mail a copy of the proposal to Jan Schuh.

Proposals must be received no later than February 15, 2016 . It is anticipated that all proposers will be informed of the status of their proposal by the end of March 2016. 

 Note: Proposals are considered confidential and proprietary.


The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research reserves the right to not award a contract for this research. Reasons for not awarding a contract could include, but are not limited to, a lack of acceptable proposals or a finding that insufficient funds are available. The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research also reserves the right to redirect the project as is deemed advisable.

The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research plans to hold the copyright to the research and to publish the results with appropriate credit given to the researcher(s).

The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research may choose to seek public exposure or media attention for the research.  By submitting a proposal, you agree to cooperate with the Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research in publicizing or promoting the research and responding to media requests.

The Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research may also choose to market and promote the research to members, candidates and other interested parties.  You agree to perform promotional communication requested by the Reinsurance Section and Committee on Life Insurance Research, which may include, but is not limited to, leading a webcast on the research, presenting the research at an SOA meeting, and/or writing an article on the research for an SOA newsletter.