State pension age of 70 is ‘inevitable’

An increase in the state pension age to 70 is “inevitable” after figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed a sharp rise in life expectancy.

ONS data published last week shows that over the past century life expectancy has risen from 51 to 79 years for men and from 55 to 83 years for women. Around 20 per cent of men aged 60 and 31 per cent of women the same age are expected to live until at least 90 years old.

Barnett Waddingham senior consultant Malcolm McLean says: “Although no one has a crystal ball and we can’t be sure what the future holds for us all, the ONS figures raise the possibility of many more people in this country living well into their 90s by the second half of this century.

“Using the formula proposed by the Government that future generations should spend up to a third of their adult life in retirement, it is very likely that state pension ages will have to rise much faster than currently anticipated, almost inevitably reaching at least 70 by the mid-point of the century.”

He adds: “Longer working lives will surely become the norm for today’s younger generations.”