Figures compiled and published by the Office for National Statistics suggest that one in three babies born this year can expect to live to be 100, and that by 2050 there will be close to half a million centenarians living in Britain.
Improved living conditions, diets and advancements in medical care are the driving forces in the rise in life expectancy, which the pensions industry warns as a “huge challenge” for people saving for their retirement.
The state pension age is already set to rise to 67 for both genders by 2026 and ministers have said that many taxpayers may have to wait until they are 80 before they can claim a state pension as the age for claiming will continue to rise as people live longer.
Darren Philp of the National Association of Pension Funds said that while it is great that people are living longer, they face a huge challenge when it comes to saving for a longer pension. A report published last year revealed that half of the workers in Britain are not saving enough for their retirement and the number of employees paying into pensions in their workplace has reached its lowest level since the 1950s, the National Association of Pension Funds recently warned.
There were only 592 people over the age of 100 living in the UK in 1961. By 2010 there were 12,000 and this is expected to reach 455,000 by 2060, almost 40 times the number in 2010.
An expected third of the 826,000 babies currently under the age of one in the UK are will still be alive in a century’s time, according to the Office of National Statistics.
One in seven women and one in ten men celebrating their 65th birthday this year are likely to reach the milestone age, and half of women currently in their early 20′s will reach 100, with just under half of men the same age joining them.
An Office of National Statistics spokesman informed that the statistics are not certain and will depend on future health, political and environmental developments.