Still Underestimating

Judging by this Gobal Pensions article, the big players in the insurance and risk markets are still betting against even the present rate of increase in healthy longevity: "Nearly half of the FTSE 100 companies amended the mortality assumption of their pension scheme ... They had become increasingly conscious of longevity and investment risk in current markets. ... Research into annual reports showed companies now estimated current pensioners would live an average extra 16 months but those retiring in 15 years time would live an extra 21 months. ... The longevity changes are, by contrast, concrete and in the here and now, and reflect an expectation of increased real cost of benefits due to members living longer, rather than a change in the approach to measurement." At present, medical science is adding one year every five years - and we are in the early years of nothing less than a revolution in the capabilities of biotechnology. That 21 month figure seems a fair way below the mark, and I predict a great deal of money will be lost in these industries in the decades ahead.


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