The economics of having a much larger older generation cannot and should not be ignored, experts have warned.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal boys born in 2018 had a 13.6% chance of living to 100, while girls had an 18.2% chance. In 25 years this will increase to 20.8% of newborn boys and 26.1% of newborn girls.
The data also shows men aged 65 can expect to live another 19.9 years, and women another 22 years. By 2043, this will be 22.2 years for men and 24.2 years for women.
Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter, said the increases are something to be celebrated as proof of medical advancements and technology.
However, he added that the significant shift in the demographics of the population, together with an increasing life expectancy, mean that to remain fair and affordable for society as a whole state pension ages must keep pace.
“This does not just mean sweeping policy changes. It can be redefining how we measure old age,” said Greer.
A recent study suggested that instead of taking a fixed chronological age as the start of “older life” the threshold could be set as a fixed remaining life expectancy – for example 19 years.
“Looking at life in this way could provide politicians with the opportunity to update how state provision in retirement works. For example, you automatically receive your state pension at the start of ‘elderhood’. Before then, anyone who is vulnerable can apply for a means tested early retirement benefit which can be applied for at any time once you are within 10 years of elderhood,” suggested Greer.
On average, baby boys can expect to live to 87.6 and girls to 90.2 years. In 25 years it is set to be 90.4 years for boys and 92.6 years for girls, the latest figures show.