The Probability of Death Calculator

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) state life expectancy is increasing year on year and their data shows the average 55 year old is predicted to live into their mid-eighties. There is now an online calculator on the ONS website, which was created in conjunction with the Treasury and the Cabinet Office, which aims to ‘predict’ when a person will die. The calculator was developed as part of a project to support pension reform. They say, “Being more informed about how much longer you potentially have to live is no bad thing, especially when it comes to financial planning.”.

Statistically speaking, around 1 in 10 men and 1 in 5 women will now reach the age of 100. Of course lifestyle choices and other factors would contribute to how long a person will actually live. That said, there is now more of a chance than ever of receiving that telegram from the Queen.

So is it possible to accurately predict (to a certain degree) when a person will die?

As a lawyer, will writer or financial advisor, would you find this predictive tool useful in your area of expertise?

The life expectancy calculator offered by the Government could make for efficient life planning, with the data calculated being used to effectively deliver the right pension planning for each individual. With this in mind, planning for the future could be made a whole lot easier. However, it could only be deemed a rough calculation.

Does it make sense to use such a tool for effective life planning?

According to the ONS calculator, those who are currently in their twenties and thirties are likely to surpass 90. The average 20 year old male is expected to live until they are 89 years old. Meanwhile a 20 year old female is expected to outlive her male counterparts and reach 92.

People in their forties are also expected to reach their late eighties, with the differences between men’s and women’s mortality rates being around three years, ages 87 and 90, respectively.

Those who are in their fifties will, on average, live into their 80s and of this age group, just one in 10 men and one in five women will reach 100.

  • In 2012 period life expectancy at birth in the UK was 79.0 for males and 82.7 for females
  • By 2037 period life expectancy at birth is projected to reach 84.1 years for males and 87.3 years for females, an increase of around five years since 2012
  • By 2037 cohort life expectancy at birth is projected to reach 94.3 for males and 97.3 for females, 10 years longer than period life expectancy
  • Period life expectancy at birth is projected to rise by eight years over the 50 years to 2062, reaching 87.3 years for males and 90.3 years for females
  • By 2062, cohort life expectancy at birth is projected to reach 100 years for females in each UK constituent country except Scotland where it is projected to reach 99.4 years
  • Cohort life expectancy for a man aged 65 in 2012 is projected to be 21.2 years and for a woman 23.9 years

The aim of the calculator is prompt individuals who haven’t already done so, into drawing up a pension that is more likely to suit their needs. Currently the State Pension weekly rate is £115.95 (tax year 2015-16) – far below what most people say they hope to retire on.

Have your clients heard of this calculator and will you be actively promoting its use in future?

Please let us know your views by leaving a comment below.

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