Richard Willets, Director of Longevity at Partnership, comments on the Office of National Statistics Population Projections announced today (click here for data).

Partnership is a specialist provider of financial solutions for people with health/ lifestyle conditions.

Today’s figures reveal that post-retirement life expectancy for people in the UK is now lower than previously expected." said Richard Willets "Specifically period life expectancy* at age 65 in 2012-13 is estimated to be 18.3 years for men and 20.6 years for women – materially below figures projected by the ONS in recent years."

The table below shows how estimates of life expectancy at age 65 in 2012-13 have been revised in successive ONS publications – Period life expectancy at age 65 in 2012-13 (years):

Life Expectancy Post 65 in 2012-13

The recent life expectancy estimates reflect the relatively high death rates we have seen during 2012 and 2013 which were attributed to influenza and low temperatures by a Public Health England Report published in August. Today’s ONS Population Projection effectively assumes that the stall in life expectancy improvement is a ‘blip’ and the longer term trend is unaffected. Projected period life expectancy in 2026-27 is virtually unchanged from the previous ONS publication. Earlier this year the Pensions Bill not only outlined how the State Pension Age is set to increase to 67 by 2028 but also linked this and any further rises to the increase in life expectancy.

People - FreeFoto.com

People – FreeFoto.com

Have we have been over optimistic about life expectancy in the UK? Or is this simply a plateau and we will see a return to growth in years to come? While this is unlikely to have a significant impact on the man in the street in the immediate future, if this trend continues the next generation may see larger private pension pay outs or a static state retirement age. A review of the pension age increases is scheduled for the next Parliament but in the meantime, researchers with an interest in longevity and pensions will be watching the situation closely.”

* Period Life expectancy is calculated using mortality rates for all ages in the same year, whereas cohort life expectancy (which is the more common interpretation of life expectancy of the “common man”) uses mortality rates in future years for future ages.

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