Personal Pension  

ONS data on elderly should spur government into action: Lowe

The director at specialist annuity provider Just Retirement said unless the government did more to help promote regulated advice and a national awareness campaign, more future pensioners could find themselves at risk.

Table: 2002 to 2012: increases according to age group (Source: ONS)

70-795%
80-8915%
90+22%
100+74%

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He said: “The Office for National Statistics figures in September show a sharp increase in the number of people aged 90 and over and many will face poor health throughout retirement.

“Developing a financial plan to make provisions for the costs of long-term care is becoming more important.”

He said Just Retirement was encouraging the government to place regulated financial advice “at the heart of the new Care Bill”, but said there also had to be a national awareness programme so that people could become aware of their responsibilities for care services.

Mr Lowe added: “Too many people think care services are part of the National Health Service and free. They are not and we need to make sure that people understand that.”

His comments came as a 14-page ONS report, Estimates of the Very Old, found that there were now more than 465,000 people in England and Wales living beyond 90.

It revealed a 33 per cent increase in the number of people aged 90 and above between 2002 and 2012, accounting for 0.8 per cent of the total population in England and Wales.

According to the data, between 2002 and 2012, there was a 5 per cent increase in the number of those aged between 70 and 79 and a 15 per cent rise in those aged 80 to 89.

Over the past 30 years, there has also been a significant rise in the number of centenarians. According to the ONS data, there were 7090 people aged 100 in 2002; this rose to 12,320 in 2012.

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Nick Evans, financial planner for Hatfield-based One Life Wealth Planning, said: “The fact that people are living longer and that most of us want to retire earlier, really underlines why proper planning is so important.

“Too many people are either not saving enough, expecting the state to provide, or realising too late how much it costs to generate a reasonable retirement income.”