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World Population Day

I did a Careers Day to a lively bunch of Year 9 students. My slot was sandwiched between sessions by a Bomb Disposal officer of the Royal Navy and a Doctor who was offering to plaster any limb. I tried to think of what would appeal to 14 year olds; the best that I could come up with is that “You are going to live for a lot longer than your teachers”. I asked them to guess how long their teacher was going to live and then how long they would live. The answer to the latter was “We are going to live until we are really really old, like 70!”. This vast under estimation is not restricted to school children. I was at an event chaired by the Editor of a very eminent publication, who knew that he was going to live a lot longer than his parents but his estimates were the early 80s.

On World Population Day, we want to share some of the forecasts on how long you may live.

The UK population is projected to increase by 3.6 million over the next 10 years, from an estimated 65.6 million in mid-2016 to 69.2 million in mid-2026 and it is projected to pass 70 million by 2030. This increase in a reduction in deaths rather than an increase in births. As a result, there will be an increasing number of older people; the proportion aged 85+ is projected to double over the next 25 years.

Looking at the UK compared with the World, the current life expectancy in the UK is close to the OECD average. Other countries, such as France, Italy, Spain, Australia and Iceland, have already achieved a higher life expectancy than the UK. This suggests that the same improvements could also be achieved in the future by the UK.

John Cridland’s report on State Pension Age described “The world of the Third Age is now a very different one, in which those lucky enough to get the State Pension will on average spend almost a third of their adult life in retirement, a proportion never before reached.” He says “The Third Age is a rather new and an exciting prospect for those lucky enough to enjoy it. Every blessing brings issues and consequences.”

The blessing of longer life brings the consequence of needing to save for your retirement. A pension is a good way to start as you get tax relief on contributions, your money is invested in a tax friendly environment and you may benefit from contributions from your employer.

If you are counting your blessings today, contact The Pensions Advisory Service for guidance on your pension options.

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