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By 2066, half of all girls will live to 100, predicts ONS

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
01/12/2017
In 2066, half of new born baby girls and 44% of boys are expected to live to at least 100 years old, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Life expectancy for those born in 2016 stood at 91.9 years for females and 89.3 years for males.

Fast forward 50 years to 2066 and the ONS predicts life expectancy at birth will reach 98.1 for females and 96.1 years for males.

The ONS also predicts that 50% of new born baby girls and 44.2% of new born baby boys in 2066 will live to at least 100.

Implications of rising life expectancy

While many would celebrate reaching the 100 milestone and receiving the telegram from the Queen, the rising life expectancy does present “monumental challenges” to individuals and society, according to Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell.

He said: “These latest figures also place the proposed acceleration of the rise in the state pension age to 68 into sharp relief. Prior to the equalisation of the women’s state pension age with men’s under the coalition government, the UK state pension age hadn’t been changed at all since the modern welfare system was introduced in the 1940s.

“Given that life expectancy has increased almost constantly over that period – and is projected to continue its upward trajectory – this is unlikely to be the last state pension age hike we will see and future generations could have to wait until 70 and beyond to receive their state pension.”

As such, he said people need to consider the implications of rising life expectancy when planning for retirement.

“Our research shows savers aged 55-59 who have accessed their savings using the pension freedoms risk vastly underestimating how long their pension income will need to last for, with over half believing it to be 20 years or less. Longer life expectancies will severely increase the strain on the UK’s already buckling NHS, and in particular the long-term care system.”

Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London, added: “The ONS are quite clear that for both men and women, life expectancies are set to continue to rise dramatically over the coming decades.

“It is vitally important that policy makers and the pensions industry address these issues as a matter of urgency and do not assume that a few years of slower improvement constitute a long-term trend. Reports of the death of longevity improvements seem to have been rather overdone.”

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