STUMP » Articles » Actuarial Nuggets: Public Pensions and Financial Economics, Presidential Mortality, and More » 12 September 2016, 11:37

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Actuarial Nuggets: Public Pensions and Financial Economics, Presidential Mortality, and More  


12 September 2016, 11:37

Let’s take these one-by-one.


I just don’t know with these groups.

Prior posts on this topic:

Jeremy Gold, one of the authors of the paper I am about to link, has this to say:

On 9/7 after delivering an ultimatum to the authors of Financial Economics Principles Applied to Public Pension Plans, the SOA published a November 2015 version of our paper. They ignored our rights and affixed a copyright statement favoring the AAA and the SOA.

Importantly, we had offered the SOA a better version of the paper dated August 31, 2016. We had also offered to recruit discussants and add authors’ responses to the discussions. This approach, which can be seen on the full version of Reinventing which can be found on the SOA website (39 page version), creates a superior product to the paper alone.

The August paper is available here:

It is still a working paper and we may make some further edits. We expect to add intelligent discussions and responses.

The paper, from August 31, 2016, is at this link. I will be reading this and perhaps commenting later.

I am not going to link to the older versions of the paper I’ve seen. I will reserve comment on the publication shenanigans.


Somebody asked me, in light of recent events, about my survivorship post from last year.

I’ve updated the graphs to start in 2016, still using 2010 Social Security calendar year mortality tables without using any adjustments, and put Gary Johnson and Jill Stein on the graph.

Yes, a 66-year-old woman has better mortality expectations than does a 63-year-old man. Mortality for males in the U.S. is worse than females at all ages, and that really adds up. That’s the reason for the large difference between Clinton and Trump in 2025: a total of ten percentage points difference.

But again, this is using general population stats. This is not taking into consideration all the things that would go into underwriting life insurance policies. Info such as health history and family history would be telling.

Underlying spreadsheet here.

Actuarial Outpost thread on discussing Presidential candidate mortality projections, starting with the 2008 election.


Yes, you could google the following if you want to. That’s how I found this info, after all.

I had a few other questions from people I know recently.

First, I was asked if it was really true that almost 50% of people in the U.S. get healthcare from Medicaid & Medicare.

The answer is no. It’s about 30%. Information is here, through the Kaiser Family Foundation. I recommend looking at the KFF for these types of stats.

Yes, the 16% in Medicaid and 14% in Medicare is from 2013, before Medicaid explansion. But even so, the Medicaid expansion mainly carved into the 13% of uncovered people. (Yes, I know — all that disruption since 2010 for only 13% of people? Don’t blame me. It wasn’t my bright idea.)

So here’s the problem. When you see how many people are covered in a year for Medicaid specifically, you will see a number higher than the 16% quoted. That’s because many people are on Medicaid for only a month or two. So there are two ways to handle measuring the coverage percentage issue:

  • Get the info as-of a specific date (the way the decennial Census works)
  • Add up person-months (as coverage is generally month-to-month) and then divide by 12. Make some adjustments for births and deaths.

There may be projections somewhere having 50% of the population on Medicare or Medicaid, but that’s not the reality right now.

Second question (from somebody else) was: when men are murder victims, what percent of their murderers are female? (No, this wasn’t from current events. I just mentioned that the murder rate for men was much higher than for women, and that usually it’s a man who is murdering the other man.)

I knew the general trend, but didn’t have the numbers at hand.

Now I do: Expanded Homicide Data Tables!

Here’s the breakdown, for single-murderer/single-victim situations.

For male murder victims in 2010 in the U.S.:
male murderer: 3,872
female murderer: 405
unknown: 85

For female murder victims in 2010 in the U.S.:
male murderer: 1,698
female murderer: 148
unknown: 18

Mind you, only 48% of murders are the single-victim/single-murderer situation.

Anyway, ignoring the “unknown” buckets here, in both cases, the victims are about 10 times more likely to be murdered by a man.

Related: suicide rates for men are about four times the rate for women.

Extremely related: The suicide rate in the U.S. is about twice the murder rate.

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