Standardised mortality rates in England and Wales in 2022 were on average 3% lower in 2022 than in 2021, according to the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) mortality projection model.

The CMI model, published on 22 June, also found that mortality in 2020 to 2022 was significantly higher than before the coronavirus pandemic.

Compared to mortality in 2019, mortality in 2020 was 14% higher, in 2021 was 9% higher, and in 2022 was 6% higher.

The CMI model is used by UK pension schemes and insurance companies that need to make assumptions about future mortality rates.

Its latest data showed that while mortality experienced in 2020 and 2021 will affect actuarial calculations, mortality in both of those years was exceptional and is unlikely to be indicative of future mortality.

While mortality in 2022 has also been higher than pre-pandemic levels, it has been less volatile and may be indicative of future mortality to some extent, the CMI said.

It added that, following a consultation with users of the model, the CMI has placed 25% weight on data for 2022 when calibrating CMI 2022 while still placing no weight on data for 2020 and 2021.

The 2022 cohort life expectancies at age 65 that are about seven months lower for males and about six months lower for females, than in 2021.

Cobus Daneel, chair of CMI Mortality Projections Committee, said: “Mortality rates can be volatile from year to year, but they tend to decrease over time.

“It is unusual to see three consecutive years where mortality rates are so much higher than the recent trend, even during prior pandemics such as the Asian Flu (1957/58) and the Hong Kong Flu (1968/69).”

He added: “We have to go back to World War II to find a period as unusual as 2020-2022 relative to the preceding five-year average.”

He said the exceptional nature of mortality in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic meant that the CMI placed no weight on mortality experience for those years.

He noted, however, that more recent data had been less volatile and suggested that mortality could remain higher than expected before the pandemic.

Daneel said: “We have given partial weight to data for 2022 in the CMI model, which leads to lower life expectancies. We made this change after a consultation process and received support from users in the pensions and insurance industry.

“However, we still encourage users to consider adjusting the model’s parameters to reflect their own portfolios and their views of the impact of the pandemic.”

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