The High Cost of Freedom: Retirement in 2020

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Countries around the developed world have long been aware of the demographic time-bomb putting at risk the sustainability of Government and private pension provision. In 2010, the UK’s population of over-65s numbered around 10 million; by 2050 this number will exceed 19 million. This, coupled with lower birth rates, means there will be a much reduced working-age population paying for the pension promises to these retirees. These promises include the state pension system and some major public sector schemes which are funded from general taxation. In 2000, there were 29 pensioners per 100 active workers in the UK; by 2020 this will be nearer 40, with the OECD predicting around 58% economically inactive over 65s per worker by 20501.