Preparing for a future where more people live longer is one of society's greatest challenges. The long-term social and economic impact on health and care services as well as on the provision of pensions, annuities and insurance needs a great deal of thought. It will require the best possible understanding of what has been happening and why, and the use of that knowledge to try to narrow the range of uncertainty about future trends. The Panel seeks to bring actuarial science and other disciplines closer together with these reports:
The report is a comprehensive review of COVID-19 effects and responses as at September 2021, bearing in mind that the pandemic is still evolving. It is intended as a resource for professional users of longevity data including actuaries, risk managers, public health professionals, epidemiologists and researchers. It asks ‘what do we know?’, ‘what have we learned?’ and ‘what are the uncertainties’ over a range of issues that could potentially drive the pandemic and longevity going forward.
Slowdown in international mortality improvements
The Panel has used historical international data from 1965 to 2010 to project mortality improvements beyond 2010 for people above age 50. For women, the observed mortality improvements after 2010 have been lower than projections, except in Denmark. For men, the situation is less clear-cut. Out of 16 countries with observed data from 2011 to 2015, ten countries, including the UK, have experienced lower mortality improvements than projected.
Life Expectancy: Is the Socio-Economic Gap Narrowing?
The socio-economic gap in mortality at older ages in England has widened between 2001 and 2015. Socio-economic circumstances of the elderly should be considered when forecasting future longevity trends.
What is ageing? Can we delay it?
Our survey of 8 well-respected bio-gerontologists has concluded that the biological process of ageing is complex and an anti-ageing ‘wonder’ pill is not in sight. Life expectancy could be improved through simpler measures such as exercise, good nutrition and better use of existing treatments.
Public Data for the Private Sector: Better solutions for the ageing population
To improve the provision of publicly-held information for decision-making by both the public and private sectors, we put forward four recommendations.
Life Expectancy by Gender
Male-female gap in life expectancy has reduced, but we can expect females to live longer due to genetic, hormonal and other biological differences.
Life expectancy by Socio-economic Groups
There are powerful factors influencing the gap in life expectancy which are likely to persist in the foreseeable future.