Pensions  

ONS is overestimating life expectancy

The director of enhanced annuity specialist Partnership has produced analysis showing there are 30,000 – or 15 per cent – fewer Britons alive in their 90s than was predicted in the 2011 Census.

Life expectancy for someone aged 65 has been consistently revised downwards since 2008 by the ONS. The average life expectancy past retirement age in 2008 was estimated to be 19 years for men and 21.3 years for women. But in the most recent November 2013 Population Projections Data, the figures changed to 18.3 years for men and 20.6 years for women past age 65.

Mr Willets said: “While we naturally want to be optimistic about life expectancy, it is vital that the statistics that are used to determine public spending, state pension age and retirement income are as accurate as projections can be.”

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The figures were debated in a House of Lords panel discussion on 5 March, co-organised by Partnership and the International Longevity Institute.

Tom Dean, chartered financial planner at London-based adviser Plutus Wealth Management, said: “This could be good news for annuity rates, which should be higher as a result of lower life expectancy projections.”

Life expectancy at age 65 as estimated by the Office for National Statistics

Year of publication

Name of projection

Men

Women

2009

‘2008-based’

19.0

21.3

2011

‘2010-based’

18.7

21.1

2013

‘2012-based’

18.3

20.6
Source: Partnership