Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

One in four children 'to reach 100'

One in four children alive today will live to reach 100, according to Government figures
One in four children alive today will live to reach 100, according to Government figures

More than a quarter of children aged 16 and under today can expect to live to see their 100th birthday, according to Government figures.

Some 3.3 million of the youngsters, or 26.8%, are set to become centenarians.

And in total, it is predicted that 11 million people currently alive will reach the landmark.

Of those individuals, 5.4 million are currently aged between 17 and 50, 1.4 million 51-65 and more than 900,000 are already over 65.

Pensions minister Steve Webb said the estimates, based on data from the Office for National Statistics, highlighted the fact that in future, people could be spending over a third of their lives in retirement.

"That's why we're reforming the state pension system - we want to make it fair and sustainable for future generations and help millions save into a workplace pension, many for the first time," he added.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK, said it was "great news that so many young people will live to celebrate their centenary".

"Later life can be full of great opportunities, and having a good pension to rely on is the best way to make the most of that time, she said.

"It is good news that from next year, automatic enrolment into a workplace pension scheme will start, requiring both employee and employer to pay in contributions but with employees being able to choose to opt out."

She added that the flat-rate pension would mean people "finally have clarity about what their state pension will be".

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