If you were born outside of the country, you may live longer

Published By: Insurance Journal

Author: Andrew Rickard 

Date Published: June 30, 2016  10:03 a.m.

Once they begin collecting their Old Age Security (OAS) payments at age 65 the typical Canadian will live about twenty years, but those who were born outside of the country tend to live a little longer.

The Office of the Chief Actuary, which operates within the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions , has published the results of its most recent OAS mortality experience study. It found that in 2013, the life expectancies at age 65 for OAS beneficiaries was 18.9 years for males and 21.8 years for females. The report points out that these numbers are 2.8 years and 1.9 years longer respectively than in 1999.

Low income pensioners live less

The study also revealed that low income pensioners live about 2.5 years less than those with higher incomes. Marital status also had an influence on longevity: married males live on average 3.5 years longer than single males, and married females live on average 2.2 years longer than single females.

In addition, people who were born outside of Canada have slightly longer life expectancies at age 65 than those born in Canada, with foreign-born males living 1.9 years longer and foreign-born females living 1.8 years longer. The Chief Actuary attributes this to a number of factors, including medical and employability screening prior to entry to Canada, as well as cultural and lifestyle characteristics.

Similar trends observed in the Unites States

“Older Canadians are living longer but the growth in life expectancy of 1.6 months per year over the most recent period from 2010 to 2013 has been lower than the 2 months per year experienced over the previous decade.” says Canada’s Chief Actuary Jean-Claude Ménard. “Similar trends have been observed in the Unites States and in the United Kingdom. However, it is too early to know if the recent shift to lower mortality improvements is permanent or if mortality improvements will return to levels more in line with prior years.”