Responding to today’s Fiscal Sustainability Report by the OBR, Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) said:
“The costs set out today are not inevitable. Increasing the average retirement age by just one extra year could bring in around £13bn or 1% of GDP. Real political and financial investment in the prevention of ill health could save money for health and social care.

Older people already contribute billions through volunteering and care. Creating the right incentives and support could deliver even greater contributions.

On the other hand, these projections could turn out to be far too cautious. If we don't invest in the prevention of ill health, fail to significantly extend working lives and do not to support the voluntary contributions of older people, we could see even higher costs. Investment in ageing research must be adequate and focussed on addressing the big longevity challenges.

If tomorrow’s pensioners are more unhealthy healthy than today’s, with less access to preventative care, and few new health innovations, costs will be higher than projected.

The cost of our ageing society is not about the free TV licence or the bus pass, yet recent political debates have focussed on these issues to the exclusion of the long term challenges.

We increasingly hear of crises in the health and care sector, whether it be pressures on acute services or care failing to meet our needs. Without a long term plan these crises will become even more common.

Despite the warnings set out today, Government does not have an adequate strategy to respond to the challenges posed by the Office of Budget Responsibility. Government must respond positively to the challenge set by Lord Filkin and the House of Lords Committee on Demographic Change and Public Services. We must have a White Paper with a clear, holistic strategy for ageing covering all branches of public service delivery.

All of the political parties must come into the next general election with specific plans on responding to the challenges and opportunities of longevity.

Inaction is likely to result in higher taxes and fewer and poorer public services for all of us.”


ILC-UK are once again looking for someone to speak for 10 minutes on the plenary platform in front of 250 people at our annual Future of Ageing Conference (29th November, London).

“Auto-enrolment has successfully led to millions more saving each month towards a pension, but the Committee is right to call for action to get people saving more. We are pleased they support our recommendations to consider automatic escalation of pension contributions for some individuals, and we agree that a strategy is needed to automatically-enrol the self-employed."

Dr Brian Beach, Senior Research Fellow at ILC-UK and who gave oral evidence to the Committee, welcomes the Committee’s call for stronger action by Government and EHRC and says it’s crucial that employers understand what ageism really is.

“The latest Fiscal Sustainability Report makes it very clear that we are facing an uncertain future. Demographic pressures are set to continue to dominate the agenda, with health, pension and adult social care spending all set to rise as a proportion of total GDP."

Are you looking for a short-term paid role in a think tank over the summer?
The independent think tank the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) is seeking a summer intern to start on Monday 23 July. The intern would work 4 days a week for a period of 4 weeks, with the possibility of extension.

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