Care,Economics of Age,Quality of Life

16 October 2012, The Actuarial Profession, Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ, 16:00 (for a 16:30 start) - 18:30

Recently, the EU’s 2012 Ageing Report argued that “the long-term public expenditure projections reveal a daunting challenge for policy makers in the EU… the fiscal impact of ageing is projected to be substantial in almost all Member States, with effects becoming apparent already during the next decade”.

During the event we heard from various speakers on the subject of the cost of our ageing society, and there was an opportunity for delegates to respond.

We considered:

  • Are we adequately considering the long term economic costs of longevity?
  • Or are we overestimating the impact?
  • Are some countries responding better than others to the economic cost of ageing?
  • How can governments across the world best respond to the fiscal challenges of demographic change?
  • How can policymakers best react to the cost of ageing?

ILC-UK will publish a policy brief following the event, summarising the latest thinking on the ‘cost of our ageing society’, drawing in particular on the EU 2012 Ageing Report and the Office of Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) Fiscal Sustainability Report.

Until recently, the financial impact of demographic change had received only limited macro-economic analysis and a recent report by the IMF argued that “few governments or pension providers adequately recognise longevity risk”.

But over the past three years, we have seen growth in national and international data on the financial cost of future demographic change. The 2009 European Commission sustainability index found that the public finances of the UK, Spain and 10 other European Union countries were at long-term high risk and that “the cost of an ageing population is expected to “dwarf” the impact of the current financial crisis many times over”.

In the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s 2010 Emergency Budget, George Osborne highlighted the scale of the UK challenge ahead, noting that “by 2015-16 we will be spending over £10 billion a year simply to meet the gap between pension contributions and payments to the unfunded pensions they support”.

The OBR Fiscal Sustainability Report has highlighted the potential impact of current demographic pressures in the UK, stating that “public finances are likely to come under pressure over the longer term, primarily as a result of an ageing population”.

Agenda from the event:

16:00 – 16:25
Registration with Tea/Coffee

16:25 – 16:30
Welcome by chair, Baroness Sally Greengross (ILC-UK)

16:30 – 16:35
Introduction, Emma McWilliam - Editor of 'Longevity Risk', (Milliman)

16:35 – 17:35
Presentations from:
Per Eckefeldt (European Commission)
Philip Simpson (Milliman)
Daniela Silcock(representing ILC-UK)

17:35 – 18:25
Panel Discussion/Debate with:
Mark Gorman (HelpAge International)
Michelle Mitchell (Age UK)
Colin Redman (The Actuarial Profession)

18:25 – 18:30
Close by chair

18:30 –

ILC-UK live blogged from this event. To read the blog, please click here. Delegates were also able to join the debate on Twitter with the hashtag #costofageing.