Women and men face years of ill-health before retirement

Women and men both face years in “not good” health before they reach retirement, data from the Office of National Statistics has shown.

According to the latest figures, which looked at health and mortality rates during 2015 to 2017, males can expect to live 63.1 years in “good health”, compared to females 63.6 years, 79.7 per cent and 76.7 per cent of their lives respectively.

With the new state pension age of 66, women face almost three years of “not good” health before they reach the average life expectancy age of 82.9 years.

In relative terms, males are living more years in good health than females, with a 0.4 year increase in healthy life expectancy for males compared to a 0.2 year reduction for females.

Commenting on the findings, Quilter pensions expert, Ian Browne, said: “This creates a situation where hundreds of thousands of people struggle financially because they are unable to carry on working but are years away from accessing their pension.

“The statistics clearly highlight that retirement needs are very individualised and a one-size-fits-all approach is very crude. However, conversely as a society we should also look to embrace the principle of everyone being treated equally and fairly – so a regression to different state pension ages for men and women is not appropriate.”

Increased life expectancy means that the years lived in “not good” health has increased for both sexes.

“ONS statistics released today which show healthy life expectancy for women is falling, with women living 19 years in poor health, pours fuel on an already blazing debate about the recently increased age at which women can access their state pension.

“Just last month a group of women won a judicial review into the increased pension age for women which is set reach age 66 in 2020.”

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