Half of those aged 20 today may expect to live to 90

By Andrew Rickard | January 10 2017 09:45AM

According to research conducted by Canada’s Office of the Chief Actuary, about half of those who are age 20 today may expect to read the age of 90.

In a presentation to the Society of Actuaries in Orlando Florida last week Annie St-Jacques from the Office of the Chief Actuary, noted that much of the recent increases in life expectancy for both males and females is due to lower mortality rates at ages 65 and over.

"Looking at mortality rates by cause of death for males and females over age 65, we can see that the significant increases in Canadian life expectancies observed over the last few decades is in great part due to the improvements in mortality related to heart diseases. These rates were improving at around 4% per year," she says. "Cancer is now the cause of death with the highest mortality rate. Reductions in mortality from cancer may hopefully become an important factor in the future."

As healthcare improves, so too does the life expectancy of the younger generation. When calculating life expectancy and its effect on the funding requirements of the Canada Pension Plan, St-Jaques reveals that actuaries expect 75% of Canadian men and 82% of Canadian women who are aged 20 today to live to at least age 80. What's more, she notes that almost half of Canadian men and 60% of Canadian women aged 20 today are expected to live to reach the age of 90. Living to 90 on average is "quite a realistic perspective," concludes St-Jacques.

The complete presentation is available on the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ (OSFI) web site.