Employers can help with the health challenges of UK’s ageing society

Group of workers around a laptop

New figures from the Office of National Statistics1 report the concerning state of healthy life expectancy in England and Wales. Healthy life expectancy (HLE) is defined as the number of years we can expect to live in “good” or “very good” general health.

There is a gap in HLE between those in the most deprived and least deprived communities in the country. A man and a woman in the most deprived decile carry an HLE at birth of just 52 years. Those in the least deprived decile carry an HLE at birth of more than 70 years, an 18-year gap.

This insight comes at the same time the state pension age is increased, to at least 68 from 2039. It may rise further.

Healthy life expectancy of 8th decile in England and Wales

  • Male HLE, England: 67.9 years
  • Females HLE, England: 68.2 years
  • Males HLE, Wales: 66.6 years
  • Female HLE, Wales: 66.1 years

Commenting, Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva said:

“We have more workers in later life than ever before – more than 1.2 million aged 65 and over2. And this population is set to increase in size in coming years – some through a desire to keep working and some through a need to keep working. This workforce represents a huge potential for the UK, carrying invaluable skills and experience, however we mustn’t ignore some of the challenges they face as they continue to work later into life.

"With the average age of retirement potentially set to exceed healthy life expectancy, employers must play an active role in their employees’ wellbeing, offering guidance on health matters to help encourage fuller working lives.

“This is why Aviva is investing in Mid-Life MOTs to help its people aged 45 and over manage their wellbeing, along with their wealth and work3. If people are expected to work longer, we have a responsibility to help them rise to this challenge.”






Media enquiries

Fiona Whytock

Retirement, Savings & Investments

Notes to editors:

  • Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
  • In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.  
  • Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £331 billion in assets (as at 31 December 2018). Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £470 billion (as at 31 December 2018).
  • Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; last year we paid £32.9 billion in claims and benefits on behalf of our 33 million customers.
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