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Rapid population ageing in China has urged the need to understand health transitions of older Chinese to assist the development of social security programmes and financial products aimed at funding long-term care. In this paper, we develop a new flexible approach to modelling health transitions in a multi-state Markov model that allows for age effects, time trends and age-time interactions. The model is implemented in the generalised linear modelling framework. We apply the model to evaluate health transitions of Chinese elderly using individual-level panel data from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey for the period 1998–2012. Our results confirm that time trends and age–time interactions are important factors explaining health transitions in addition to the more commonly used age effects. We document that differences in disability and mortality rates continue to persist between urban and rural older Chinese. We also compute life expectancies and healthy life expectancies based on the proposed model as inputs for the development of aged care and financial services for older Chinese.
The life annuity business is heavily exposed to longevity risk. Risk transfer solutions are not yet fully developed, and when available they are expensive. A significant part of the risk must therefore be retained by the life insurer. So far, most of the research work on longevity risk has been mainly concerned with capital requirements and specific risk transfer solutions. However, the impact of longevity risk on shareholder value also deserves attention. While it is commonly accepted that a market-consistent valuation should be performed in this respect, the definition of a fair shareholder value for a life insurance business is not trivial. In this paper, we develop a multi-period market-consistent shareholder value model for a life annuity business. The model allows for systematic and idiosyncratic longevity risk and includes the most significant variables affecting shareholder value: the cost of capital (which in a market-consistent setting must be quantified in terms of frictional and agency costs, net of the value of the limited liability put option), policyholder demand elasticity and the cost of alternative longevity risk management solutions, namely indemnity-based and index-based solutions. We show how the model can be used for assessing the impact of different longevity risk management strategies on life insurer shareholder value and solvency.
This paper provides a detailed quantitative assessment of the impact of capital and default probability on product pricing and shareholder value for a life insurer providing life annuities. A multi-period cash flow model, allowing for stochastic mortality and asset returns, imperfectly elastic product demand, as well as frictional costs, is used to derive value-maximizing capital and pricing strategies for a range of one-year default probability levels reflecting differences in regulatory regimes including Solvency II. The model is calibrated using realistic assumptions. The sensitivity of results is assessed. The results show that value-maximizing life insurers should target higher solvency levels than the Solvency II regulatory one-year 99.5% probability under assumptions of reasonable levels of policyholder's aversion to insolvency risk. Even in the case of less restrictive solvency probabilities, policyholder price elasticity and solvency preferences are shown to be important factors for a life insurer's value-maximizing strategy.
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