Life expectancy in the UK is rising
It has long been accepted that improvements in medicine, lifestyle and an understanding of the effects which habits such as smoking can have on our health means life expectancy is increasing. Future generations will enjoy much longer and healthier lives on average than their predecessors.
Figures released in April 2011 by the Department of Work & Pensions help illustrate rather exactly what this means. These figures suggest, of the under 16s already alive today, over a quarter are going to reach the age of 100 – and already, the average new-born female is going to live to over 90.
As Steve Webb, Minister for Pensions, commented at the time, this means that millions of people will spend over a third of their life in retirement. But, as the DWP were quick to point out, this news also coincides with a period during which pension savings are in serious decline.
A population with increasing life expectancy is putting our welfare system under significant pressure as more people need not only pension income but also healthcare, incapacity support and help within the home. When the time comes for you to retire you can expect that your State Pension will provide little more than a safety cushion. If your retirement plans include holidays, visiting relatives and treating yourself on occasion, then its time to take control of your savings and start building up a retirement fund of your own.