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More Brits are living into their 90s

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25/09/2019
More people in the UK are living into their 90s, but there are fewer centenarians, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

In 2018, the total number of people aged 90 and over increased by 0.7 per cent, from 579,776 in 2017 to 584,024.

This compares with increases of 1.5 per cent and 2.7 per cent in the two preceding years.

There were 13,170 people 100 years or more, a 5 per cent decrease from 2017.

Vasita Patel from the ONS’s centre for ageing and demography, said: “The size of the population aged 90 years and over in the UK continued to grow in 2018 – driven by an increase in the number of men at these ages.

“However, we have seen a decrease in the number of people aged 100 years and over. This is because of the low number of births in the UK during World War One.”

Despite this historical decrease in births, the number and proportion of people reaching 90 years and over has continued to grow because of medical advances and improvements in public health over the 20th century, the ONS said.

These figures will have wide ranging implications for retirement planning, according to Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon.

With one in five males and one in three females born between 2016 and 2018 likely to celebrate their 90th birthday, he said living into very old age is something “both genders need to consider when planning for later life”.

Helen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London, said: “With people living 30 years past traditional retirement age, government must deal quickly with the ticking time bomb of lack of appropriate retirement provision by looking at whether auto-enrolment minimum contributions need to be raised to help people save more.

“Other workers may wish to work for a while after the age of 65 to bolster their pension and we need to ensure they are able to do so.”

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