| 13 April 2024, Saturday |

UK insurers share £7.4bn Covid boost as life expectancy falls by nine months

Britain’s decreased life expectancy as a result of the Covid-19 problem is expected to improve pension provider earnings by £7.4 billion, or 16%, over the next five years.

According to an analyst report, big pension managers expected to gain include Aviva, Just Group, and Legal & General, assuming the pandemic reduces life expectancy in the UK by nine months. Due to shorter average lifespans, providers will pay out less to customers who have purchased an income, often as part of a retirement plan, in the future years.

The higher mortality as a direct result of coronavirus fatalities, as well as the knock-on effects such as an increase in mental health concerns and lower cancer diagnostic rates, will allow life insurance to release more monies set up in reserves.

After analyzing information from the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, as well as data from insurance firms, Royal Bank of Canada’s insurance stock analysts Gordon Aitken and Mandeep Jagpal concluded that the pandemic will reverse trends in lifespan.

“There may be more waves of Covid, as well as decreased health as a result of lengthy Covid,” they stated in a message to clients.

“There may be second-order repercussions, such as delayed diagnosis and treatment of other diseases, and the economic slowdown may have a negative influence.”

It implies that claims that the pandemic will actually enhance life expectancy – by encouraging better lifestyles and increasing information about the transmission of the coronavirus – are overshadowed by factors that may shorten people’s lives.

“We have no opinion on Covid’s long-term impact on life expectancy, but we feel it is likely that this will result in decreased life expectancy,” the analysts noted.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the Treasury’s pensioner expenditure was on pace to reduce by £600 million in 2020/21 and £900 million in 2021/22 since the 144,000 fatalities attributed to Covid-19 since the outbreak’s inception were mostly made up of persons over the age of 65.

According to a June analysis by epidemiologist Michael Marmot at University College London, life expectancy fell by 0.9 years in England last year, while a November report from the British Medical Journal stated 28 million more years of life will be lost in 2020 across the 31 nations studied.

The life insurance business based its mortality assumptions on the Continuous Mortality Investigation model, which is revised each March.

Meanwhile, according to preliminary predictions released earlier this year by Public Health England, life expectancy in England in 2020 will be 78.7 years for males and 82.7 years for women, down 1.3 years and 0.9 years, respectively – the greatest drop in 40 years.

Since 2012, life expectancy has fallen due to slowing gains in the treatment of cardiovascular illness and an increase in dementia cases, with the slowdown potentially preventing further hikes in the state pension age in the future.

Meanwhile, in the United States, life expectancy in 2020 was 77 years, a 1.8-year reduction from 2019 and the worst loss since World War II, with the pandemic placing third after heart disease and cancer.

According to Census Bureau data released this month, the US population increased by 392,665, or 0.1%, in the 12-month period ending July 1.

  • The National News