UK 65+ population set to double in coming century

New population projections from the Office for National Statistics[1] have projected that the UK 65+ population is set to double from 12 million to 24 million over the coming century. This increase drives three-quarters of the +16 million predicted growth in the total UK population over the coming century, from 66 million to 82 million.

This rapid growth in this 65+ population will place increasing pressure on the UK’s ability to fund its longer later life. Today, there are more than three-and-a-half people of working age to help fund every one of pensioner age. Over the next century, this ratio will fall towards two people of working age for every one of pensioner age.

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

“The growth in our pensioner population is a reflection of our increasing life expectancy. While this must celebrated, it also brings greater consequences and responsibilities for our society.

“A larger pensioner population is likely to result in greater demand on the public purse, and could impact the availability of public services for individuals. To avoid this, we must help workers save more and to offer greater assistance to work longer in the years to come.   

“Automatic enrolment has introduced more than ten million people to workplace pensions since 2012[2], but we must do more to ensure that our changing population are saving enough.

"By increasing the automatic enrolment minimum from 8% to 12% of earnings over the coming decade we will better prepare workers for a longer later life. Failing to encourage people to save more risks millions meeting retirement with disappointment.

“Today we have a record number of 10 million people in work beyond the age of 50, but we are continuing to see a collapse in employment participation as workers progress towards their sixties[3]. This represents a huge loss of talent, experience and potential that the UK can no longer afford.

“At Aviva, we have introduced Mid-Life MOTs to provide targeted support for our workers who are aged 45-and-over, to encourage them to review their savings and to support them should they wish to embark on a longer working life.

“At this time of great change in our society, age must be no barrier to opportunity.”



[1] populationprojections/bulletins/nationalpopulationprojections/2018based                                  



Sources:  Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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.
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