Sunday, August 07, 2011

Pensions and life expectancy

The argument for raising teachers' pension contributions is simply that people are living longer. How do we know this?

Presumably we can look at the ages that people die at, which will tell us that those who were born roughly 60-100 years ago are indeed living longer. We could look at past data and see that the average age at death is rising at x years per decade, then use this trend to predict that by 2035 the average person will live to 103 (say).

This sort of prediction does remind me a bit of my own forecast in April this year, when after a careful analysis of the last fortnight's weather data I announced:

"Goodness, the weather's getting warmer and warmer- by Christmas it will be absolutely roasting!"


pjt said...

Do you mean that everyone could be getting higher pensions if we just accept that any time soon there will be a war that makes the life expectancy of us all much lower?

I mean, with seasons, you know for sure that autumn will come and then winter. That is a cycle in temperature (and light and other things). What is the cycle in life expectancy, where does it come from?

Unless you can explain this, I'll continue to think that life expectancy will gradually rise (not linearly, of course, no one supposes so) and that will have an impact on retiring and pensions as well.

Anonymous said...

but we are all so fat and unhealthy, surely we will all be dead by a fortnight next wednesday, so nobdy should need a pension anyway?

English Pensioner said...

Didn't they announce a few months ago that the present younger generation are going to die at a younger age than their parents due to obesity?
If the government wanted to solve the pensions crisis, it should stop issuing all those health warnings, allow smoking everywhere and reduce the tax on cigarettes and alcohol, etc.

Anonymous said...

Yes, just like, "If this puppy keeps on growing at the rate it is now, it will soon eat Tokyo!"