State pension UK: Life expectancy projected to decrease for women as retirement age rises

Martin Lewis discusses checking state pension underpayments

State pension payments can be claimed by most people when they reach 66. However, the state pension age will eventually be increased to 68 under current rules and those born in the 50s may receive their payments under different circumstances.

Men born before April 6 1951 and women born before April 6 1953 may claim what is known as the basic state pension, as opposed to the new state pension.

All of these rules are constantly reviewed and altered as new data on life expectancies come to light, which can prove to be costly for retirees.

Recently, the PPI produced research on life expectancy in the UK and its impact on retirement outlooks.

While they found that the average probability of reaching state pension age has improved by two percent over the last 70 years for those approaching state pension age, the overall healthy life expectancy for women is projected to decrease.

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For women in the most deprived areas, it is projected to decrease from 52.4 years in 2012 to 50.9 years in 2030.

PPI noted These trends are occurring while the state pension age continues to rise, which could harm the retirement prospects for the female population, particularly those in deprived circumstances.

The report explained that if these projections come to pass women could end up spending more time in poor health before reaching state pension age.

As the report explained: “If these trends of a widening gap between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy continue, future generations of more disadvantaged people could find it increasingly difficult to work for longer before state pension age due to poor health.

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“This could lead to difficulties providing for financial adequacy in retirement, especially for the most deprived with the lowest healthy life expectancies.”

It should also be noted for individuals within the 20 percent of lowest incomes who are approaching state pension age, are less likely to recover from physical injuries, further hampering their prospects.

On this, the PPI also noted women specifically could end up spending more time in poor health before receiving their state pension.

State pension age concerns have become a problematic concern for the Government and various groups have emerged in recent years to push the state for changes, which can include Back to 60 and WASPI.

Last year, Boris Johnson noted he would look into the problems outlined by these groups but no official changes have emerged thus far.

Recently, in speaking exclusively with express.co.uk, WASPI’s communications director Debbie de Spon commented on the Prime Minister’s efforts: “He did nothing. He has done nothing, or has only come back and said no there’s nothing more that can be done.

“Any communication that women get now comes from Guy Opperman and he talks about all the fantastic schemes that have been put in place and all the benefits that are available for women and the Kickstart scheme and how hard the Government is working at making things OK for people.

“And it completely whitewashes the WASPI issue. It’s almost as if we’ve been written out of history.

“We’re like the grey shadowy women who never existed.”

Mrs de Spon went on to highlight that the focus has understandably shifted this year onto the coronavirus pandemic, adding: “And how it’s affecting young people.

“That’s quite right – we’re all parents and grandparents.

“We don’t want our children and grandchildren to be disadvantaged but I think every WASPI woman can see that there’s something gone very awry here, that the Government isn’t addressing.”

It remains to be seen if the Government will alter the state pension in light of any life expectancy concerns.

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