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Public Perception of Longevity and its Drivers Request For Proposal

Background And Purpose

The Mortality and Longevity Research Program Steering Committee (MLPSC) is interested in examining public perceptions of longevity. The survey will be targeted at both a pre-retirement (ages 50-64) and post-retirement population (ages 65 and older) and will compare respondents' answers to how much longer they expect to live before and after being prompted about their own health-related behavior. The dual purpose of the survey is 1) to determine whether people are realistic about their remaining length of life and 2) to measure variations in perception across socio-economic and demographic groups within the population.

The MLPSC has assembled an oversight group (POG) to draft the initial set of survey questions. In addition to asking how much longer people think they are going to live, there will be a set of questions to determine socioeconomic and demographic characteristics and a set of questions to identify the respondents’ risk factors (smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, diet, hypertension, cholesterol, etc.). These questions will allow the survey taker to evaluate various lifestyle and health considerations that may influence how long they feel they will live. At the end of the survey, after the same initial question has been asked again (how much longer people think they are going to live), respondents who provided a different answer than at the beginning of the survey will be asked to identify which of the various health related questions made them change their mind.   People could then be directed to additional resources such as the Actuaries Longevity Illustrator or other information on longevity as well as the impact of various health factors on disease and mortality.

The results of this study can provide a deeper understanding of the public’s perception about longevity to help identify and address misperceptions and enhance support and services to meet the needs of aging individuals.  

Research Objective

The MLPSC is seeking a researcher to support, structure, and perform the study. The researcher will:

  • Work with the POG in finalizing the study scope, questionnaire, sample design and research methodology;
  • Field the questionnaire or provide support for hiring a consumer panel vendor to field the questionnaire;
  • Review and validate data from the consumer panel responses;
  • Compile and analyze the data and summarize the results in a report made available to the SOA membership. The POG will work closely with you in reviewing results of the analysis and finalizing the report;
  • Provide the POG with periodic progress reports.

Members of the POG will be available to provide feedback and guidance to the vendor as needed.


  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 for all the researchers and for the firm or institution on whose behalf the proposal is submitted.
  2. A description of how the questionnaire will be fielded or ideas for identifying and hiring a consumer panel.
  3. An outline of the approach to be used (e.g. literature search, statistical techniques to be implemented for the analysis of the survey results, etc.), emphasizing issues that require special consideration. Details should be given regarding the techniques to be used, collateral material to be consulted, and possible limitations of the analysis.
  4. A description of the expected deliverables and any supporting data, tools or other resources.
  5. 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.
  6. A schedule for completion of the research, identifying key dates or time frame for research completion and report submissions. This project has a hard deadline of 8/31/19 for completion of the final report. Suggestions in the proposal for ensuring timely delivery, such as fee adjustments, are encouraged.
  7. Other related factors that give evidence of a proposer's capabilities to perform in a superior fashion should be detailed.

Selection Process

The MLPSC has appointed a Project Oversight Group (POG) to oversee the project.  The MLPSC and POG are responsible for recommending the proposal to be funded.  Input from other knowledgeable individuals may also be sought, but the MLPSC and POG will make the final recommendation, subject to SOA leadership approval. 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

Notification Of Intent To Submit Proposal

If you intend to submit a proposal, please e-mail written notification by April 5, 2019 to Jan Schuh (  You may also submit questions prior to this deadline.

Submission Of Proposal

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

Proposals must be received no later than April 12, 2019.It is anticipated that all proposers will be informed of the status of their proposal by April 19, 2019 or sooner.

Note: Proposals are considered confidential and proprietary.


The selection of a proposal is conditioned upon and not considered final until a Letter of Agreement is executed by both the Society of Actuaries and the vendor.

The SOA and MLPSC reserve 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 SOA and MLPSC also reserve the right to redirect the project as is deemed advisable.

The SOA and MLPSC plan to hold the copyright to the research and to publish the results with appropriate credit given to the vendor.

The SOA and MLPSC may choose to seek public exposure or media attention for the research.  By submitting a proposal, you agree to cooperate with the SOA and MLPSC in publicizing or promoting the research and responding to media requests.

The SOA and MLPSC 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 SOA and MLPSC, 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.