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Pensions up in smoke

Publicans and cigarette manufacturers are not the only ones who will suffer financially from the UK government's move to ban smoking in public places - pension funds will see the impact too, according to Hewitt Associates.

A research project by the human resources consultancy suggests that the UK government's plan to ban smoking in public places could increase the country's pension scheme deficits.

According to the research, an average improvement of just one year in life expectancy increases the aggregate deficit of the FTSE 100's pension funds by as much as £15-20 billion.

Smokers' life expectancy is much lower than non-smokers, and research cited by Hewitt shows that a 35-year old smoker only has a 25% chance of surviving to age 80, while a fellow non-smoker has a 60% chance of surviving to that age.

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