Press releases

Legal & General comments on Britain's new supercentenarian, highlighting the 'missed value' of pension annuities.

group-images-mediacentre-press releases-people-IMG-Tim Gosden.
Tim Gosden
Head of Strategy Individual Annuities

06 November 2012

group-images-mediacentre-press releases-people-IMG-Tim Gosden.
Tim Gosden
Head of Strategy Individual Annuities

On 4th November 2012 Britain's oldest man, former church minister Mr Reg Dean from Wirksworth, celebrated his 110th birthday and as such became an elite supercentenarian, that is a person who is aged 110 years or more.

Mr Dean as a supercentenarian is currently in a class of his own but according to the Office for National Statistics, (ONS), the trend for UK centenarians, those people aged 100 years or more, has seen a five fold increase from 2,500 in 1980 to 12,640 in 2010*. Looking to the future, population projections suggest that the number of centenarians in the UK will exceed 160,000 by mid 2040 which is a twelve-fold increase from the 2010 figure.

While Mr Dean put his longevity down to a laid back lifestyle, according to ONS, the major contributor to the rising number of centenarians is increased survival between the age of 80 and 100 due to improved medical treatment, better housing and living standards, and nutrition.

Tim Gosden, Head of Strategy for Legal & General's Individual Annuities business said "It's no secret that we are living longer but unfortunately people still don't appear to appreciate this fact when it comes to purchasing their pension annuity. A massively understated benefit of pension annuities is that they wil continue to pay a pension income no matter how long a person may live. Based on our experience of the pension annuity market, Legal & General estimates that the current average life expectancy for a man aged 65 is at least 25 years. This means that they are very likely to live to at least age 90 and with some living much longer than this. Our estimate is 7 years longer than figures published by the ONS, who estimate that a male in the UK will live on average to age 83**."

To view this chart click on the link to the document on the right.

Tim went on to say; "The certainty of a retirement income being paid for life, regardless of how long a person may live, is of paramount importance for many people. 65 is still a common retirement age in the UK, so hopefully Mr Dean's amazing achievement of living at least 45 years past this age will focus more people's attention on just how long they may live. Then hopefully, pension annuities will be judged in a different light, as offering good value as an insurance policy against living much longer than perhaps we currently expect."

More detail on the benefits of pension annuities is available at

Notes to editors

Source: Office for National Statistics : **ONS Life expectancy at birth and at age 65 by local areas in the United Kingdom, 2004-06 to 2008-10, 19 October 2011

*ONS Estimates of Centenarians in the UK, 2010, September 2011 Population aged 100 years and over, UK, 1965-2010

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Berni Ryan

Berni Ryan
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