‘Long-term care will be problem for elderly’

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics on November 7 showed that the population of people aged 60 and above will stand at 17.8m in 2037, up from approximately 11.1m today. The number of people aged 100 and above is expected to hit six figures.

The ONS estimate for how many centenarians will be alive by 2036 is less than predicted in previous years. Richard Willets, director of longevity for retirement product provider Partnership said the ONS had probably given greater consideration to possible deaths from flu epidemics and winter colds in the future.

He said: “Have we been overoptimistic about life expectancy in the UK? Or is this simply a plateau and we will see a return to growth in years to come? While this is unlikely to have a significant impact on the man in the street in the immediate future, if this trend continues the next generation may see larger private pension payouts or a static state retirement age.”

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The predictions have reignited fears that people will struggle to have enough income in retirement or to fund long-term care.

Ros Altmann, independent pensions consultant, said it was “misleading” to consider the pure numbers of over-65s as a pensions crisis in the making as people will work for longer in the future.

She said: “The real problem is long-term care. People have time to prepare for the big demographic bulge when today’s baby boomers reach their 80s and are likely to need care, but nobody has started saving for it.”

Adviser view

Tom Diaper, IFA for London-based Plutus Wealth Management, said: “The advisory community might have a tainted view of this issue because we deal with a select group of people who are less likely to be squeezed and will be more proactive in their planning provision.

“But more and more people will be forced to pay for care fees and the younger they start saving, the less painful this process will be.”


Age GroupPopulation 2013Population 2037
70 to 752.5m 4.1m
75 to 802m 3.4m
80 to 851.5m2.5m
85 to 90926,0001.9m
90 to 95406,0001.2m
95 to 10094,000408,000
100+13,000 111,000