Pension age ‘should rise to 70’ as Britons are now living well into their 80s because of better healthcare, diet and lifestyles, figures reveal

  • The ONS found that ‘three score years and ten’ should be the new retirement age
  • In the 1980s those who reached 65 could expect to live around another 15 years
  • By 2017 men aged 70 and women aged 72 could expect a further 15 years of life

Forget early retirement – we should all be working until we are 70, it was claimed yesterday.

That is because we are now expected to live well into our 80s, the Office for National Statistics said.

It suggested that ‘three score years and ten’ – the Biblical lifespan – has instead become the point at which people should give up work. In the 1980s those who reached 65, then the retirement age for men, could expect to live around another 15 years.

We should all be working until we are 70, it was claimed yesterday. That is because we are now expected to live well into our 80s, the Office for National Statistics said

We should all be working until we are 70, it was claimed yesterday. That is because we are now expected to live well into our 80s, the Office for National Statistics said

But by 2017 men aged 70 and women aged 72 could expect a further 15 years of life.

They are also healthier now than 65-year-olds were four decades ago, the ONS found.

Its study, Living Longer: Is Age 70 The New Age 65?, could persuade governments to raise the state pension age further. It used to be 65 for men and 60 for women but is now 66 for both sexes and is due to rise to 67 in 2028.

The ONS report said: ‘In the UK, 65 years of age has traditionally been taken as the marker for the start of older age, most likely because it was the official retirement age for men and the age at which they could draw their state pension. In terms of working patterns, age 65 years as the start of older age is out of date. There is no longer an official retirement age, state pension age is rising, and increasing numbers of people work past the age of 65.’

Our longer and healthier lives bring challenges and opportunities, it adds.

‘Longer lives mean people can continue to contribute for longer – through longer working lives, volunteering, and possibly providing care for family members, for example, grandchildren. For individuals it might mean the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends and to pursue personal interests with more time for leisure activities.

It suggested that ‘three score years and ten’ – the Biblical lifespan – has instead become the point at which people should give up work

It suggested that ‘three score years and ten’ – the Biblical lifespan – has instead become the point at which people should give up work

‘[But] more older people means increased demand for health and adult social services, and increased public spending on state pensions. The key to shifting the balance from challenge towards opportunity… is for older people to be able to live healthy lives for as long as possible.’ Just before the First World War, men could expect to live another 15 years when they hit 57, women at 60.

In 50 years’ time, the ONS estimated, men will be likely to live to 90 and women 92, putting the 15-year retirement line at 75 and 77.

However, the report cautioned that there is no guarantee life expectancy and health levels will continue to improve.

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