The Impact of Covid-19 on Future Higher-Age Mortality

Covid-19 has created the worst global pandemic since the Spanish flu, impacting communities and economies around the world. The pandemic also has real implications for pension funds, insurance companies and academics who model and measure longevity risk.

On May 15, Prudential’s Amy Kessler was joined by Professor Andrew Cairns (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh) and Professor David Blake (Cass Business School, London) on a globally attended webinar based on their new research paper that examined how Covid-19 may affect the future of mortality rates, particularly at higher ages where the impact of the virus has been most acute. They addressed many questions, including:

  • What is the relationship between existing co-morbidities or frailties and Covid-19 deaths?
  • Will there be a material anti-selection bias in the surviving population once the pandemic runs its course?
  • How do socio-economic differences impact Covid-19 mortality?
  • Will Covid-19 survivors carry forward some form of impairment, and will these impairments shorten life expectancy?
  • What are the likely behavioural responses to the pandemic that may affect life expectancy?

Watch the webinar replay here and read the research paper here.

Read an overview of the research in the press release here.




The research paper was published on May 19 and was written during the early months of the global pandemic. The research underlying it was based upon the limited data available to the authors as of May 14, 2020. The situation is very fluid, and the research will be updated and refined as additional data become available.