Headlines on Monday 5th February jumped on a report from the International Longevity Centre (ILC) The UK and other ageing populations will have to increase their state pension age to 71 by 2050 to maintain the number of workers per retiree – ILCUK. The report points out that a combination of preventable ill health and a very low birthrate will mean to maintain the current system the state pension age will need to be age 71years old.
What does this mean? Currently the state pension age (SPA) is 66 rising to 67 from 2026-2028. The Covid pandemic and austerity has stalled life expectancy in recent years. This helped prevent the proposed move to SPA 68years old currently planned for 2044 to be brought forward.
However, age imbalances will mean less people of working age to cover the number of state pensioners. Life expectancy is expected to increase. This does not mean there is an expectation of longer healthy life expectancy. The report explains that the big issue of preventable ill health is key.
So many people are no longer well enough to work as they get older and ILC research finds that in Europe alone, people who report being in good rather than poor health are over four times more likely to be in work between the ages of 50 and 65, and over 10 times more likely between the ages of 65 and 74.
Rather than move the pension age further away, preventatives policies should be in place to help individuals retain good health throughout life and that would help encourage people to work longer, more people in the workforce would then mean the pension age wouldn’t need to keep going up.
An interesting report.