One in four children expected to reach 100th birthday

Posted on April 23rd, 2011 | Categories - Pensions

People are living longer with children expected to reach the ripe old age of 100.

As life expectancy increases the government may have to adjust the pension system further to avoid a shortage of funds.

Over a quarter of British children will live to celebrate their 100th birthday, according to figures revealed by the Department for Work and Pensions. However, rising life expectancy will put an added strain on the pension system.

The statistics show that over 3 million children currently under the age of 16 will become a centenarian with a further 12 million expected to live well into their 80s or early 90s.

Experts believe this data supports the pension reforms that have been proposed by the government – the state pension age is due to rise to 66 for both men and women by 2020.

Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, said: “Millions of people will be spending over a third of their lives in retirement. This is why we’re reforming the State pension system. We want to make it fair and sustainable for future generations”.

Some specialists have warned that as life expectancy grows, pension age may rise accordingly. This would mean that people will need to work much longer or start saving early in order to retire at their chosen age.

Laith Khalaf, a pensions analyst at financial advisers Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Living to a ripe old age is a blessing if you can afford it, but a curse if you can’t. Those without sufficient savings will be left at the mercy of the State pension which will be adjusted accordingly”.