Wednesday 5th March 2014; 08:30 (for 09:00 start) – 10:30; House of Lords, Westminster

During 2014, ILC-UK, supported by specialist insurance company, Partnership Assurance Group plc (Partnership), is undertaking a series of events to explore the relationship between our changing demography and public policy.

The second event in the series explored how much we really know about life expectancy at the highest ages. How many of us are living to 90 and beyond? Why have estimates of life expectancy required revision?  What does this tell us about increasing longevity? And what does this trend mean for public policy and long-term population planning?

The twentieth century saw life expectancy in the UK rise dramatically due to improvements in public health, nutrition and medicine. As a result more people are living into their 90’s than ever before.

However, a recent analysis of the 2011 census for England & Wales revealed that the growth of this age group has actually been slower than predicted. Richard Willets, Director of Longevity at Partnership, has analysed this data to highlight the fact that fewer people are living into their 90s. In fact, the census showed there were around 30,000 fewer people aged 90 and above than previously thought.

The discovery of ‘missing’ members of the oldest generations is not just a UK phenomenon. Similar patterns have been observed elsewhere, most notably in the United States where the 2010 census counted less than half the number of predicted centenarians.

So why is it that the population estimates are coming unstuck at this stage of the lifecourse? What can be done to improve our estimation of population counts and expectation of life at the highest ages?

Population projections and forecasts of life expectancy help shape strategic choices and decisions in many areas of public policy including state and public sector pensions, healthcare, social care, housing and transport. Changing views on the potential for further increases in life expectancy could potentially have ramifications for all of these areas.

During the discussion we explored:

  • How accurate are our predictions for the growth in the number of the oldest old?
  • Have certain drivers that increased life expectancy reached their zenith?
  • What current factors could potentially lead to increases or decreases in life expectancy?
  • What are the policy ramifications?

The write-up from the event is availalbe to view and download here.

Agenda from the event:

08:30 – 09:00

09:00 – 09:05
Welcome – Baroness Sally Greengross (Chief Executive, ILC-UK)

09:05 – 10:25
Presentations from:
Richard Willets (Director of Longevity, Partnership)
Dave Grimshaw FIA (Partner, Barnett Waddingham LLP)
Angele Storey (Demographic Analysis Unit, ONS)
David Sinclair (Assistant Director – Policy and Communications, ILC-UK)
Andrew Latto (Deputy Director, State Pensions Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions)
Followed by discussion and Q&A

10:25 – 10:30
Close – Baroness Sally Greengross (Chief Executive, ILC-UK)

This was an invitation only event.

View the presentation slides below: