London, Dec.30 (ANI): Over 10 million people alive in Britain today, or one in six, will live to be over 100 years old, government figures have suggested, and this could have profound social, economic and financial implications for the country.
In the first official projection of its kind, the British Government's Department for Work and Pensions has forecast that almost a fifth of Britons will celebrate their 100th birthday.
Of the 17 per cent of the population who will become centenarians, about three million are under the age of 16, and 5.5 million are aged between 16 and 50.
The statistics show that there are 1.3 million 51 to 65 year-olds who are likely to get their royal telegram, along with 875,000 people who have already retired.
In total, according to The Telegraph, about half a million people a year will be celebrating their 100th birthday by 2066, compared with about 10,000 now. Nearly 8,000 of them will reach their 110th birthday.
Britain's Pensions Minister Steve Webb urged workers to begin saving for their retirements as soon as possible.
"These staggering figures really bring home how important it is to plan ahead for our later lives. Many millions of us will be spending around a third of our lives or more in retirement. That's why we are reforming the pension system to make it sustainable for the long term, making sure people can look forward to a decent state pension when they retire, and helping millions save into a workplace pension, many for the first time," Webb was quoted, as saying on Tuesday.
Experts have warned that British taxpayers will face an increasing bill to meet the pension and health care costs of the elderly. Individuals will have to work later, sell their assets and put more money aside throughout their lives to fund retirements that could last more than 30 years.
Ministers have considered linking the state pension age to life expectancy which could see future generations working into their seventies. (ANI)