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UK Government to Tell Pensioners When They Are Expected To Die to Help Them Budget

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People approaching retirement will be given a death date by the Government to stop them squandering their savings, ministers announced yesterday.

The Government will use factors like smoking, eating habits and how rich or poor they are to estimate how long they have left.

The guidance comes after ministers changed the rules so that retirees no longer have to buy an annuity, which gives them an annual income until they die.

Pensions minister Steve Webb – who said people should be free to blow their savings on a Lamborghini if they want – said that most will end up living much longer then they think .

He said: “For best guidance you probably think about how long your grandparents lived. But that is two generations out of date.”

The minister will ask pension providers to give people an estimate as part of guidance that will be rolled out next April.

The announcement came as new figures revealed that men live 10 years longer in parts of South East England than in Scotland.

In 2010–12, life expectancy for men in East Dorset was 82.9 years. This is 10.3 years longer than in Glasgow – where men can expect to live to just 72.6 years.

For women, life expectancy at birth was highest in Purbeck, Dorset – at 86.6 years. This is 8.1 years longer than in Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, where the life expectancy for women is just 78.5 years.

Overall, nine in 10 babies in Dorset will reach their 65th birthday. In Glasgow this is just 75% for baby boys and 85% for baby girls.

Life expectancy across the UK was 78.9 years for men and 82.7 years for women, according to the Office for National Statistics figures revealed yesterday.

Men aged 65 in 2010-2012 can expect to live another 18.2 years, the ONS said.

Women of the same age can expect to live another 20.9 years.

The overall north/south life expectancy divide is also exposed in the figures.

In the North East, men can expect to live to 77.8 and women 81.6. In the South East it’s 80.3 for men and 83.8 for women.

Overall, girls born in South West England expected to live 5.2 years longer than boys in the North West.

But the biggest gains in life expectancy in recent years have been in London, which also has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in the country.

The ONS said this was because many healthy families were moving south to look for work.

It said: “A number of factors have been identified as plausibly being responsible for the excess mortality, and consequently lower life expectancy, in the northern regions of England.

“These include socioeconomic, environmental (including working conditions), educational, epigenetic, and lifestyle factors, which may act over the whole life course, and possibly over generations.”

But it added: “One factor that has received less attention is the selective migration of healthy individuals from poorer health areas into better health areas or vice versa.

“This type of migration has been shown to play a significant role in increasing or decreasing location-specific illness and mortality rates, which then consequently impact on life expectancy figures.”

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