Pensions - Articles - We are bottom of the league

New figures published today by the Office for National Statistics comparing different countries shows a dramatic fall in the UK’s relative position when it comes to improving life expectancies. The figures come as the latest weekly death statistics for England and Wales show the eighth consecutive week that the number of deaths has exceeded the average for the last five years

 In the most recent six years, the UK has fallen to bottom of an international league table of life expectancy improvements for women, and second bottom for men, with only the US having a worse record. In the previous six years, the UK was one of the top performers.

 Although many countries have seen a slowing in the improvement in life expectancy, several Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Denmark and Finland, have seen large and increasing improvements in life expectancy.

 Commenting, Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London said: ‘The UK has slumped from being one of the strongest performers when it comes to improving life expectancy to bottom of the league. There is a real human cost behind these statistics and we urgently need to understand more about why this is happening. The current extreme summer weather is clearly taking its toll in the short-term, but there are also big, longer term factors at work. The Government needs to conduct urgent research into these worrying trends. If other countries can ride out economic storms and continue to drive up life expectancy, there is no reason why the UK should not be able to do so’.

 Commenting on the implications of the figures for pensions and the pensions industry, Helen Morrissey, pensions specialist at Royal London said: ‘The assumption that we will continue to enjoy dramatic improvements in life expectancy continues to be challenged. Planned increases in the state pension age will need to be reviewed to take account of the latest data, and company pension schemes may find that their liabilities are lower than expected. Much more work is needed to understand the reasons for this data so that pension funds and pension providers understand whether this is a temporary slowdown or part of a much longer-term trend’.

 New figures from the Office for National Statistics on life expectancies

 ONS figures on number of deaths has exceeded the average for the last five years 


 Herschel Mayers, CEO VitalityInvest and VitalityLife, commented: “Despite today’s figures highlighting a slowdown in the rise in life expectancy, the UK population is still living longer than ever. However, Vitality understands that people instinctively live for today rather than prepare for tomorrow. When it comes to later life, many don’t start saving soon enough or take steps to arrive there in good health, meaning they cannot make the most of their retirement. It’s clear that more needs to be done to address these challenges and to encourage a change in behaviour towards savings and wellness that will not only be good for the individual, but good for society as a whole.”

Back to Index

Similar News to this Story

Research reveals pension tax relief timebomb set to hit
New analysis published by mutual insurer Royal London has shown, for the first time, how many of today’s workers are at risk of breaching the £1.03m l
New snapshot of what you have done with pension freedom
To mark the upcoming anniversary of pension freedoms, Canada Life has commissioned research1 looking at the behaviours of people who have flexibly acc
Transfers from FTSE 100 pension schemes to insurers to soar
A new report published today by pensions consultancy Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP) found that full transfers from FTSE100 defined benefit company pension

Site Search

Exact   Any  

Latest Actuarial Jobs

Actuarial Login

 Jobseeker    Client
Reminder Logon

APA Sponsors

Actuarial Jobs & News Feeds

Jobs RSS News RSS


Be the first to contribute to our definitive actuarial reference forum. Built by actuaries for actuaries.