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2009 Seminar for the Appointed Actuary Colloque pour l’actuaire désigné 2009

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Canadian

Institute

of

Actuaries

L’Institutcanadien

des

actuaires

2009 Seminar for the Appointed Actuary

Colloque pour l’actuaire désigné 2009

Segregated Funds andMarket Volatility Session

“Pricing Living Benefits inSegregated Funds Products”

John Fenton

September 17, 2009

2009 Seminar for the Appointed Actuary

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This presentation provides an overview of methodology used to price living benefit features on U.S. VA products

Developed based on our knowledge of the industry and results of recently completed 2009 Towers Perrin GMWB Pricing and Hedging Survey

Survey reflects results for 10 major U.S. VA writers including U.S. subsidiaries of Canadian companies

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Continued . . .

Pricing methodology believed to be generally applicable on Seg Fund products as well

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The global economic environment has presented major challenges for VA/Seg Fund products over the past 12 months

Equity markets dropped > 50%

Daily realized volatility in S&P index routinely exceeded 60% on annualized basis during most volatile periods

Both contributed to very high levels of implied volatility

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Continued . . .

Also, risk free rates fell to very low levels

Wreaked havoc on in-force VA portfolios

Became significantly ITM (now with some recovery)

Hedging not as good as advertised

Cost to hedge new business rose dramatically

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Continued . . .

Required companies to rethink their approach on how to approach new product design/pricing

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The approach to pricing WB features has become more standardized although major issues exist on choice of assumptions

Pricing of WB riders now routinely makes provision for cost of hedging

Priced using risk neutral scenarios

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Continued . . .

Typical approach is to determine cost of rider separately, then incorporate into base product pricing

Often expressed as annual cost via PV calculation

Base product generally priced using real world scenarios a few companies moving to risk neutral to support MCEV pricing

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Continued . . .

Provision for hedge effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) is typically made by assuming hedging replaces 1 – HE% of real world claims

Effectively assumes hedging is covering cost of claims as they emerge

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Continued . . .

Variations on approach

Attempt to model impact of hedging directly can be difficult to do and requires stochastic-on-stochastic testing

Vary timing of hedge payoff move from time of claim to spread over hedging period

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A key issue is what to assume for the parameters underlying the risk neutral scenarios

Two ends of spectrum

Use today’s swap rates and implied volatility

Use long-term estimates

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Continued . . .

Considerations

Product priced today will not be available for sale for several months, will then be sold over ensuing 6-12-18-24 months

Not necessarily locking in hedging costs at time product is issued

Becomes significant issue when economic conditions move around

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Continued . . .

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Source: Bloomberg for swap rates, investment banker quotes for implied volatility

We suggest a two-pronged approach to testing is appropriate

Set assumptions based on “long-term estimates” although these are re-assessed frequently

Also test (at time of pricing as well as on ongoing basis) at current market condition levels

Ensure profitability meets minimum threshold requirements

Some would suggest current environment should meet target profit requirements as well

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Continued . . .

Depending on relationship between target and minimum threshold profit levels may require companies to set long-term estimates at fairly conservative levels

Important to run lots of sensitivity tests to understand impact of varying economic conditions

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Continued . . .

Could also reflect current market conditions grading to ultimate but difficult to capture in one set of scenarios

Need to develop procedures to deal with sub-par profitability

Accept below threshold for X days

Product actions (i.e., pull product, increase rider fees bracketed basis)

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Continued . . .

Industry practice tends to favor current market conditions

50% assume current market conditions at time of pricing

20% use long-term estimates

30% use other methods generally both or blend

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Another key issue is how to derive implied volatility assumptions past last observable period

We see three approaches being used in the industry

Grade to target ultimate (“mean reversion”) generally historical realized volatility with margin or average of historical implied volatilities

Hold level at last observable tenor

Hold level throughout

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Continued . . .

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- Industry results (mean) as of 3/31/09 for S&P

Choice of assumptions can/should be tailored to nature of hedging

Consider both the type of hedging that you currently utilize, as well as the type of hedging that you may want to implement in future

i.e., currently dynamically hedge only (i.e., hedging with delta via futures), but may want to add options for vega exposure

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Continued . . .

Considerations

Realized volatility; if dynamic hedging only

Implied volatility up to N years, then realized; if only buying static options up to N years

Is swap curve locked into?

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Industry practices on assumed level of hedge effectiveness vary results from GMWB Pricing and Hedging Survey

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Continued . . .

Suggest that hedge effectiveness for tail calculation should be lower than mean pricing

Hedge effectiveness would be expected to vary based on extent of basis risk

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U.S. companies are generally leveraging off C3 Phase II methodology; perhaps blending in internal economic capital as well

Many companies are reconsidering their approach

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Continued . . .

Lots of issues

Multiple of CTE90 level or higher CTE level

Degree of diversification: single cell vs. total product vs. total VA block

Assumed level of hedge effectiveness

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Continued . . .

Ideally, calculation would be done via stochastic-on-stochastic testing (could involve stochastic cubed with hedging)

However, not practical for many companies, so factor based

Degree of factor sophistication varies

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Continued . . .

Reflecting partial withdrawals via a cohort approach is becoming standard industry practice

Typical cohorts:

1. Begin immediately

2. Deferred 5 years

3. Deferred 10-20 years

4. Withdrawals only if policyholder deep ITM (better choice than no withdrawals)

Cohorts 2 and 3 generally set in consideration of specific products (e.g. bonus waiting period age tier)

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Continued . . .

Assumed mix by cohort varies by issue age

It may also be appropriate to assume withdrawals utilization triggered based on the in-the-moneyness

Typical to assume full withdrawal

Once started, typical to assume they last forever

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There are two primary approaches to defining perceived value for in-the-moneyness, used primarily for dynamic lapse

PV of future payments

Benefit base amount

Prevalence in industry is roughly 50%-50%

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Continued . . .

We favor the benefit base approach

What policyholders see in their statement

PV approach generally requires a 30%+ drop in funds before ITM kicks in we think policyholders would place more value on a benefit they are paying 75-100 bp for

Emerging experience (still limited) suggests lapse dampening happening at smaller levels of equity market drops

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Continued . . .

Remove additional shock lapse rate component (i.e., excess over ultimate lapse rate) when benefit ITM

Consider floor lapse rate 2% is not unreasonable

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Companies have moved to more conservative economic scenarios in their pricing

Have led companies to charge more or “de-risk” WB riders

More stringent asset allocation

Less rich features

Issue: when current market conditions become more favorable again, will companies revert back to prior practices?

2009 Seminar for the Appointed Actuary

Colloque pour l’actuairedésigné 2009