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The PPI is an INDEPENDENT educational, not-for profit research institute. We undertake rigorous research from a neutral, long-term perspective

Briefing Notes

Briefing Note 13 - How long does a pension have to last?

In any pensions-related debate, the demographic number that usually gets most attention is the increasing support ratio: the number of people over state pension age whose pensions need to be ‘paid for’ by each person of working age. But there is an arguably more important set of numbers that tend to get overlooked. These are just as important in the cost of pensions, and are more important to everyone’s individual life prospects. These numbers are:

  • What chance do we have of living to start collecting a pension at age 65? 
  • How long can we expect to then collect a pension for?

This Briefing Note updates earlier PPI analysis of these questions using the latest projections of future longevity. These are on a cohort basis which means that the prospects for each generation can be shown separately. They show that lives are going to be longer than people expect. Projections have always turned out to underestimate longevity improvements, actual experience may turn out to be even better that these latest figures suggest. 

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