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Press comment: Stagnating life expectancy - welcome, but disconcerting


If you’re covering the latest ONS figures on life expectancy please see the following comment from Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter: 

Jon Greer“Over the past number of years headlines and front pages have revealed the adverse impacts of the ageing population on our society. So there is likely to be a mixture of emotions as the UK faces a slowdown in life expectancy improvements, with the period between 2015 and 2017 showing the lowest improvements in life expectancy since the Office for National Statistics started recording this data in 1980.

“An ageing population has been putting additional pressure on public finances and more broadly those that look after their ageing family members. With the social care system inadequately equipped for an increasingly ageing population, and insufficient pension provision beginning to crystallise, policymakers and businesses will be monitoring life expectancy trends closely.  Still, people may feel disconcerted that advancements are stalling, or that increased life expectancy is not being matched by health improvements. However, historical data shows us that life expectancy does not increase at the same steady pace, it goes in bursts that correspond with medical advancements.

“A plateau should not be mistaken for a decline. It’s critical people are realistic about the possibility of surviving into their 90s.  Separate data has revealed the 90 years and over population continues to increase despite a decline in births in England and Wales 90 years ago.

“We still need a sustainable social care policy and the pressure on the state pension and company pensions won’t be going anywhere. As we are in the midst of party conference season, with a Budget approaching, pressure remains on policymakers to provide practical policy solutions to tackle the issues an ageing society brings.

“Those trying to figure how much they need to save for retirement are faced with what appears to be an impossible equation. There are numerous variables: including how old will you live? Will you need care? If so, for how long and how much does it cost? There will be no perfect answer for everyone, so for many people working from where they would like to end up, and working backwards from there, will probably deliver the most helpful picture of how much they need to save. It is crucial that people plan properly and take expert advice.”

For more information contact

Kathleen Gallagher023 8072 629307990

Notes to Editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £95.3 billion in customer investments (as at 31 March 2020).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial advice business, Quilter Financial Planning; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

Wealth Platforms includes Old Mutual Wealth UK platform and Quilter International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore.

The Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business was acquired by ReAssure Group Plc on 2 January 2020.

Since its IPO in June 2018, Quilter plc’s businesses have progressively rebranded to Quilter, as follows: 

  • Quilter Financial Planning (previously Intrinsic)
  • Quilter Private Client Advisers (previously Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers)
  • Quilter Financial Advisers (previously Charles Derby Group)
  • Quilter Financial Adviser School
  • Quilter Cheviot
  • Quilter Investors
  • Old Mutual Wealth (becoming Quilter Investment Platform)
  • Quilter International (previously Old Mutual International)

This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.

Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

This communication is issued by Quilter plc.  Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270.  Registered in England.