Early deaths could kill defined benefit pension shortfalls

Covid-19 will only worsen a trend in life expectancy that was already well underway


Even before the pandemic, people had stopped living ever longer lives in retirement. Pension schemes, which had assumed life expectancy would continue lengthening, found more financial wriggle room as their liabilities dropped.

Covid-19 has turbocharged the trend. Public Health England estimates that life expectancy for a woman in the richest 10% of the English population dropped from 87 to 86 in 2020, while an equally wealthy Englishman could expect to live to the age of 83, compared with 84

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