Number of people living to 100 will rise

Number of people living to 100 will rise

03 January 2011 / by Paul Dicken

The number of people expected to live to see their 100th birthday stands at 17 per cent of the population, the government has said.

Analysis of life expectancy and population data by the Department for Work and Pensions showed more 5 million people aged between 16 and 50 are expected to live to 100, with 875,000 of those aged over 65 now predicted to reach 100.

Pensions minister Steve Webb said: “These staggering figures really bring home how important it is to plan ahead for our later lives. Many millions of us will be spending around a third of our lives or more in retirement in the future.”

Webb said the rising population age was prompting the government to reform the state pension system to make it more sustainable and introducing auto-enrolment for workplace pensions.

Dr Ros Altmann, director general of the Saga Group, the older people’s service provider, said it was fantastic news that more people would live to see their 100th birthday, but the financial implications of this had still not been fully factored into the pension system.

Altmann also said the employment market needed to change to reflect the fact that many people wanted to and were able to work for longer. She said a recent survey for Saga showed 42 per cent of people over 50 wanted to keep working beyond age 65.

“People are not ‘old’ at 65 anymore, so why are we wasting their valuable skills? They have decades of healthy life ahead of them and should not be denied the chance to keep working and earning money to sustain themselves as they live longer,” she added.

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