Pensioners to be told how long they have left to live to help them plan their finances


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The Independent Online

Pensioners are to be given an estimate of when they will die to help them plan their finances.

Steve Webb, the pensions minister, said retirees would be assessed based on a number of factors — such as smoking, gender and where they live — to work out an estimate of how long they have left to live.

Women born now are expected to live an average of 82.7 years, with men lasting 78.9 years. However, life expectancy is much higher for those who have reached the age of 65 as these average figures are reduced by those who die young.

The Government is concerned that people are not expecting to live as long as they are likely to and could spend too much early in their retirement.

“The idea is that you come to think about retiring, [but] you don’t know how long that retirement is going to be. What we do know is people get it wrong and they underestimate how long they’re going to live,” Mr Webb told The Daily Telegraph.

“At 60 most people will have parents still alive so the best guide they’ve got about how long they are going to live is their grandparents. That’s two generations ago so they tend to underestimate how long they are going to live.

“My idea … is to say to somebody, 'Look, someone of your generation, living in this part of the country, you’ve not smoked, someone like you could easily live for 27 years’.”

In England, women who reach 65 will die at the age of 86.1 on average, for men the figure is 83.6. In Wales, women will live until 85.6, men 83; in Northern Ireland, women will reach 85.6, men  82.9; and in Scotland women will reach 84.5, men 82.2.

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