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Official Dutch longevity predictions undercut actuaries

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NETHERLANDS - Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has estimated a less drastic increase in longevity for the Dutch population than previously forecast by the Actuarial Society (AG).

The new prognosis suggests that men and women aged 65 in 2010 will live an additional 17.6 and 20.8 years respectively.

However, the CBS admitted that the method employed to calculate these figures usually underestimated the real life expectancy.

A cohort-based approach led CBS to expect that men and women who are 65 at present will live an extra 19 and 22 years respectively.

Compared to the previous predictions of 2008, the longevity forecast for 65-year-olds has increased by 0.1 year for men and 0.6 year for women, said Statistics Netherlands.

It added that both men and women born in 1960, can count on an extra year on average.

In a comparison of the figures of both institutions, the Pension Federation stated that CBS predicted that men turning 65 in 2030 can expect to live a further 19.7 years, while the AG forecasted 20.9 years.

For women, the prognosis is 22.4 years and 23.2 years on average, according to the federation, which represents the pension representative bodies VB, OPF and UvB.

Men aged 65 in 2060 will live a further 21.7 years, CBS predicted, whereas the AG estimated 22.2 years.

However, CBS expects females turning 65 in 2060 to live 24.2 more years, which is longer than the AG forecast of 23.9 years.

Aon Hewitt noted that the figures produced by AG impacted pension fund liabilities more. Arnold Jager, consultant at Aon Hewitt, calculated that the AG's predictions increased liabilities by 1-1.5% more than the CBS prediction.

"From a point of prudency, we expect that the Dutch pension funds will follow the AG tables," added Jager.

The consultancy further noted that the new CBS forecast leads to an increase of liabilities of 0.5% to 1% compared to its 2008 prognosis.

Neither the CBS nor the AG was available for comment.

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