NEWS:


Representatives of the Scottish insurance industry alongside consumer groups and older people’s charities will come together in Edinburgh on 20th February to debate the long term costs of our ageing society. The debate, being organised by the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) will take place in conjunction with the Actuarial Profession and sponsored by Milliman.

Delegates at the event will hear the latest evidence about the cost of our ageing society. The debate will hear from Kenneth Gibson MSP, Convenor, Scottish Parliament Finance Committee who will talk about the economic impact of an ageing society in Scotland.

Maureen O’Neill, Scottish Member of the European Economic and Social Committee will highlight the contribution older people make within Scotland and Europe.

The debate will also hear from Philip Simpson, Principal at Milliman, and Emma McWilliam, Consulting Actuary at Milliman and Editor of ‘Longevity Risk’ published by RiskBooks.

David Sinclair, of the UK based think tank, the International Longevity Centre – UK will highlight the findings of a new report on the cost of ageing across the world. In the report, ILC-UK argued that Governments must do more to reduce the long term cost of ageing to the public purse.

The ILC-UK report (The cost of our ageing society) notes that in the UK

  • age-related spending is projected to rise from an annual cost of 21.3% to 26.3% of GDP between 2016/17 and 2061/62, a rise of 5% of GDP (3) (equivalent to a rise of around £79bn in today’s money).
  • spending on public pensions (state pension, benefits and public service pensions) is projected to rise from an annual cost of 8.9% to 10.8% of GDP between 2016/17 and 2061/62, a rise of 1.9% of GDP (equivalent to a rise of around £33bn in today’s money).
  • spending on health care is projected to see the largest rise of all elements of age-related spending, rising from an annual cost of 6.8% to 9.1% of GDP between 2016/17 and 2061/62, a rise of 2.3% of GDP (equivalent to a rise of around £36bn in today’s money).
  • spending on long term care is projected to rise between 2016/17 and 2061/62 by 0.9%, from an annual cost of 1.1% to 2% of GDP, a rise of 0.9% of GDP  (equivalent to a rise of around £14bn in today’s money).

Ahead of the event Kenneth Gibson MSP said “I look forward to discussing the Finance Committee’s recent demography report.

David Sinclair, Assistant Director, Policy and Communications at ILC-UK, added “Scotland is not exempt from the economic costs of our ageing society and we are delighted to be bringing the debate to Edinburgh. It is great to see the interest of the Scottish Parliament in this issue as hoping the issue will go away is not an adequate response. Drifting along is not an option and does not benefit future older or younger people. Policymakers must urgently look to solutions to the long term challenge of mitigating the increased cost of an ageing society."

Philip Simpson of Milliman added “Those aged 60 years and older are the most rapidly growing population segment in Scotland; with their numbers growing 15% between the last two censuses.  Consequently, the potential economic impact of the ageing population is important to Scotland and all professionals involved in understanding the consequences of longevity should come together and pool their expertise to help address this issue.

Maureen O’Neill, member of the Member of the European Economic and Social Committee added "Whilst it is important to consider the costs attached to an ageing population it is vital that we recognise and appreciate the contribution made by older people to the economy, care, democratic processes and family. We should better appreciate that older people constitute the social glue of our society'.

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