State Retirement Pensions: Females

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 14th September 2017.

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Photo of Julian Knight Julian Knight Conservative, Solihull

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the evidential basis is for the projected increase in longevity for women affected by the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The evidential basis for the projected increase in longevity for women affected by the Pensions Act 2011 is summarised in the Pensions Act 2011 impact assessment:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181462/pensions-bill-2011-ia-annexa.pdf

Paragraphs 3 to 6 of the impact assessment illustrate the latest cohort life expectancies for the UK population, from the 2010-based principle population projections, which were published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). A comparison is made with cohort life expectancies from the 2004-based principle population projections published by the Government Actuary’s Department, which were used to inform the Pensions Act 2007. The impact assessment showed that, compared with the 2004-based projections, life expectancy at state pension age in 2010 had increased by 1 year for males and by 1.3 years for females.

The 1991 discussion paper “Options for equality in State Pension age” and the 1993 White Paper “Equality in State Pension age”, which informed the Pensions Act 1995, used previous life expectancy projections from the Government Actuary’s Department.

Life expectancy is projected to continue to increase in future years (according to the latest 2014-based projections from the ONS). In forty years’ time, in 2057, average life expectancy at age 65 is projected to be over 4 years higher than it is now. By 2064 (the end of the current projection period) a baby girl will be expected to live to almost 100 (99.8 years).

These life expectancy projections were an important input into the government’s review of State Pension age which was published in July of this year. As part of the review, government commissioned an independent report, led by John Cridland CBE, and a report from the Government Actuary. Both reports drew extensively on the life expectancy projections from the ONS.

The next set of life expectancy projections from the ONS are due out later this year and every two years thereafter. The regular State Pension age reviews, at least every six years, will provide a structured framework for the Government to respond to any changes in the projections in the longer term.

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