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Club Vita Canada to revolutionize longevity measurement and management for pension plans

TORONTO, October 5, 2015 – Canadians are living longer, and longevity risk has become the biggest unmanaged threat facing Canadian defined benefit (DB) pension plans. Over the past decade, DB plan sponsors have made significant strides to understand and manage their key financial risks. However, to date, plan sponsors have lacked the resources to truly understand their longevity risk. This leaves plan sponsors exposed to unforeseen costs that can threaten the financial security of both their plans and their members. Club Vita Canada Inc., officially launched today by Eckler Ltd., will build on the work already being done by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries to significantly advance the current state of Canadian pensioner longevity measurement and modelling.

“Current models of measuring longevity risk for Canadian DB pension plans do not incorporate leading approaches being used in other countries. Club Vita Canada represents a giant step forward in how Canadian longevity risk is measured,” says Ian Edelist, CEO at Club Vita Canada and a Principal at Eckler. “We’re reframing pensioner longevity analysis by focusing on individual drivers, rather than easily observable groupings. The longevity analytics we will provide to our club members will allow them to understand and manage their longevity risk to a level not previously possible.”

Club Vita Canada is building a “club” of public- and private-sector pension plans from across Canada, with the goal of creating the most robust pool of longevity data in the country. Club Vita Canada’s team of consultants, statisticians and academics will apply leading-edge data analytics and statistical modelling techniques to determine the strongest predictors of Canadian pensioner longevity out of a broad range of possible factors – including lifestyle, geography and affluence. Annual updates provided to club members will equip plan sponsors and their advisers with information they need to understand their future costs.

“Research has shown that many factors play a role in human mortality – and those factors are only partially understood. Club Vita’s data collection and statistical methods will greatly benefit the Canadian longevity research landscape, and can offer pension plan sponsors the detailed information they need to better understand and manage their risk,” says Dr. Johnny Li, associate professor and Fairfax Chair in Risk Management at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Li, a leading contributor to global longevity and mortality research, has partnered with Club Vita Canada as a peer reviewer and adviser.

Club Vita Canada is an extension of the UK-based Club Vita LLP, launched in 2008 by Hymans Robertson LLP. Club Vita LLP’s pioneering approach has helped to build better understanding and management of longevity risk by analyzing a data set of 2.2 million pensioners representing about 15% of the UK’s retired population. “Club Vita’s insights have moved best practice thinking forward. By collecting richer data, and having the flexibility to slice and dice it using powerful statistical techniques, new relationships are revealed,” says Douglas Anderson, Club Vita LLP founder and a Partner at Hymans Robertson. “A recent example is research done in 2014 revealing that the UK socio-economic gap in life expectancy is starting to narrow, after several years of widening. This finding is important for the funding, investment and risk management strategies of pension plans.”

About Club Vita Canada Inc. (

Club Vita Canada Inc. was created by Eckler Ltd. It is an extension of Club Vita LLP, a longevity centre of excellence launched in the UK in 2008 by Hymans Robertson LLP. By pooling robust data from a wide range of pension plans, Club Vita provides its members with leading-edge longevity analytics.

About Eckler Ltd. (

Eckler is a leading consulting and actuarial firm with offices across Canada and the Caribbean. Owned and operated by active Principals, the company has earned a reputation for service continuity and high professional standards. Our select group of advisers offers excellence in a wide range of areas, including financial services, pensions, benefits, communication, investment management, pension administration, change management and technology. Eckler Ltd. is a founding member of Abelica Global – an international alliance of independent actuarial and consulting firms operating in over 20 countries.

About Hymans Robertson LLP (

Established in 1921, today Hymans Robertson is one of the longest established independent consulting and actuarial firms in the UK. The firm offers a full range of services including the provision of actuarial, investment consultancy, administration and general consultancy services to the trustees and sponsors of defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes, and an enterprise risk management practice advising banks and life insurers. Hymans Robertson is also a member of the Abelica Global network.

For further information:

To find out more about how Club Vita Canada works or how to join, visit or contact Ian Edelist at 416-696-3067 or, or Richard Brown at 416-696-3016 or

For media inquiries, please contact Nancy Peppard at 416-696-3081 or