New calculations from the Office of National Statistics have lowered life expectancies

Every two years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recalculates its national population projections (NPP). As part of the exercise, the ONS reviews and updates its assumptions about future mortality, which in turn will have an impact on population size.

The latest figures, released in early December, show a fall in life expectancies from those calculated in 2016. ‘Fall in Life Expectancy’ means that future generations will live longer than the current generation, but not live quite as long as previously predicted.

The projection made in 2016 was that a man who reached age 65 in 2040 would live, on average, another 23.0 years, whereas the latest projection (based on 2018 figures) brings that number down to 21.9 years. For women the figure has gone down from another 25 years in 2016 to 23.9 years in 2018.

One consequence of these new projections is that the ONS has had to update its life expectancy calculator.  For example, a man aged 65 today, is expected on average to live until age 85, but has a one in four chance of reaching 92 and a one in 10 chance of achieving age 96. For a woman of the same age, the corresponding figures are all two years higher.

Those odds of reaching into the 90s are worth remembering next time you review your retirement planning.