Pension provision in the UK has been a big topic over the past two weeks, both within the industry and here at Star Actuarial.
If you read our blog you will have seen that Carolina and Antony attended the Pensions Conference in Brighton, and then Antony went to the Pensions Sessional Research event on 11th June. Both events gave us plenty to think about.
Alongside these activities, pensions has been in the news as well. On June 12th the Pension Protection Fund reported that the deficit in UK pension schemes hit a record high, and this was soon followed by a story on The Actuary website that the number of older workers has almost doubled since 1993.
These topics of pension deficits and longevity/mortality rates were bought together nicely in an article in last month's issue of The Actuary entitled "Born Supremacy". In a timely article ahead of the Olympics, Greg Becker studied the correlation between improvements in sporting achievements and life expectancy, discussing how technological and pharmaceutical innovations enable athletes to continue hitting new world records, drawing comparisons with how we are able to increase life expectancy through similar advances.
However he also pointed out the dangers of drawing conclusions about the general population from these results. In the same way that most people never achieve anything like the world records set by athletes, there could be significant increases in life expectancy which are available only to a certain demographic and won't affect the general population drastically.