Life expectancy and pensions

A report by PWC on pensions draws attention to some fairly startling projections about life expectancy; they claim that pensioners born in 2050 will have an average life expectancy of 104. The source of the prediction are tables produced by the Office of National Statistics – this link goes to their main projection. For people born in 2050, the projection is that 48.4% of males, and 55% of females, will live to 100. The ONS also note that “As only one person worldwide has ever been verified as living beyond 120, estimates of numbers surviving to very old ages are highly uncertain.”

There are no strong reasons here for immediate panic. Even if the pension age stays at 66, people born today will not get their pension until 2078; and the troublingly long-lived babies of 2050 will get their pension in 2116. That is far enough away for our great grandchildren to be able to do the sums, probably a little more effectively than we can.

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