- Monday, 02 July 2012
Partnership, one of the UK’s leading enhanced annuity specialists, reveals startling data from the last 2 London Olympics (1908 and 1948) highlighting dramatic changes in UK life expectancy and massive retirement challenges for today’s elderly.
2012 Olympic babies live nearly 30 years longer than their 1908 counterparts
- Average Life expectancy in 1908 was roughly 50 for men and 54 years for women (1911 Census), in 1948 it was 66 (for males). Today at birth it is predicted to be 78 for men and 82 for women. (Actuaries Department)
Only 100 centenarians were alive during the 1908 – this has grown 90 fold today
- In 1911 there were an estimated 100 centenarians (1911 Census). Now this has grown 90 fold to 9,300 today (ONS). Of the 826,000 babies born this year, 35% will be alive in 2112 (ONS)
Today pensioners will spend a third of their lives in retirement, in 1908 only a quarter survived to pensions age
- In 1909, only 24% of the population (500,000) survived to 70 to get a pension. Those who did lived for just 9 years more (DWP); Today 84% (over 12 million) make it to collect our state pensions (60 women and 65 for men) and live, on average for a further 24 years – a third of our lives in retirement (DWP)
If there is a 2050 UK Olympics the situation will be dramatically different
- By 2050, there will be 250,000 new centenarians EACH YEAR and 2 workers for each pensioner (DWP). Britain will have to spend £80 billion per year above what it does now on pensions, long term elderly care and the NHS” (OECD, 23 May 2011)
Commenting, Steve Groves, Chief Executive of Partnership said: “Nothing demonstrates the impact of improved medical treatment, housing and living standards, and nutrition than the figures for increased life expectancy across the last 3 London Olympics.
“A baby Born today is estimated to live approximately 15 years longer than those born during the 1948 Olympics, when London last hosted the event, and 30 years longer than those born during the 1908 London Olympics.
“We should celebrate greater longevity – however the retirement funding challenges are immense.
“In 1908 only a quarter survived to reach the pension age of 70. Today over 80% of us (12 million people) will reach pension age – and will spend a remarkable 24 years in retirement - almost a third of their lives.
“It has never been so important for us to save for the costs of our retirement. As the number of people in work shrink from 10 workers for every pensioner in 1908 to 4:1 today, it is inevitable that the Government must place most of the burden for funding old age on the elderly.
“The challenge for Government is extreme as it is estimated that in 2050 Britain will have to spend £80 billion per year above what it does now on pensions, long term elderly care and the NHS.
“However, there are a range of solutions available to the elderly, which they can exercise now.
“The 40% of people at retirement who are eligible for an enhanced annuity for health or lifestyle conditions can increase their retirement income by up to 40% for life, if they shop around for the best annuity rate. Currently only 17% do so!
“The elderly can also take advantage of their housing wealth, with people aged over 55 estimated to own nearly two thirds of net housing wealth (Council Mortgage Lenders, 2009). They can either downsize or purchase equity release products to generate further income in retirement.
“The challenge is most extreme for our very oldest. For every centenarian who watched the 1908 Olympics there are over 120 centenarians alive today. It is our very oldest, who are set to grow fastest, and who are likely to have to fund many years of care.
“It is important to reflect on the fact that 35% of children who are born this year may well live to see an Olympic games if it was held in London in 2112! Let us hope they do, and that they have a happy life – they are certainly likely to have long ones!”