South Coastline turning into retirement communities as 1 in 3 already over Standard Pension Age in oldest councils. How many have protected their assets?

Leading UK annuity specialist, Partnership, highlights huge social and financial intergenerational challenges as oldest councils age dramatically over next 2 decades

Now in the oldest councils:

  • West Somerset is the oldest council in the UK
  • More than a third are already over the State Pension Age (SPA)
  • Nearly 2 people over State Pension Age for every person aged 16 or under

In 2032:

  • West Somerset still the oldest council – however the proportion of the very oldest (85+) in the council will have doubled from 5% to 10%. Very oldest nearly match youngest (16 and under are 12.3% of the population)
  • In West Dorset, for every 6 people of working age there will be 5 people over SPA.
  • 2 Non-coastline councils enter top 10 – Malvern Hills and South Shropshire

Top 10 ‘Oldest’ Councils in 2012

Council % of population 85 and over % of population of State Pension Age (SPA) and over % of population aged 16 and under
West Somerset 5.3 35.4 13.6
Rother 5.1 33.5 15.6
Christchurch 5 34 14.4
East Devon 4.7 31.9 15.9
Arun 4.6 30.8 16
West Dorset 4.5 32.1 16.6
Tendring 4.5 31.3 15.5
Eastbourne 4.5 26.3 13
Berwick-upon-Tweed 4.4 31.7 15.8
North Norfolk 4.4 33.8 15.8

Top 10 ‘Oldest’ Councils in 2032

Council % of population 85 and over % of population of SPA and over* % of population aged 16 and under
West Somerset 10.1 40.7 12.3
Berwick-upon-Tweed 9.4 38.9 11
West Dorset 9.1 38.4 13.2
North Norfolk 8.7 37.4 14.4
Rother 8.5 37.3 13.1
Malvern Hills 8.5 33.4 14.3
South Shropshire 8.5 38.6 15
Arun 8.2 34.8 15.1
East Devon 8.1 34.7 14
New Forest 8.0 32.8 14.3

Andrew Megson, director of retirement at Partnership, commented: “These figures highlight that the costs placed on councils to meet the retirement and care needs of the elderly will not be evenly spread, with some councils facing a much greater challenge than others and this will impact individuals, as well as the community.

“By 2032, the picture in our oldest councils is more extreme, as populations in these councils age further, while the proportion of the younger generation reduces.  The number of the oldest in our communities, those who are most likely to require care, are set to grow at the fastest rate, with those aged 85 or over due to increase by 60% in the next 20 years (Laing & Buisson). This is likely to mean tough choices and a limitation to the services councils are able to provide.

“Intergenerational fairness will inevitably become an issue.   Many in the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation have benefited from final salary pension schemes and enjoyed record house price inflation, yet the youngest – who are arguably the most indebted generation ever and are unlikely to ever enjoy similar benefits – may be required to meet many care and retirement costs through direct taxation.  To put this into perspective, consider that people over the age of 60 are estimated to have non-mortgaged equity of nearly £1 trillion, while the average age for the purchase of a home is estimated at nearly 38 years old!

“We should begin to consider realistically how we will manage financially as we get older.  Already more than 50%** of us believe we should take personal responsibility to cover some or all of our care fees ourselves.   The financial challenges facing the elderly, as many enjoy increasingly longer retirements are significant. It is critical that they take proper financial advice and recognize that many can increase their retirement income by using equity release or by shopping around for the best annuity rate; at least 40% of people at retirement are eligible for an enhanced annuity for health and lifestyle reasons, giving them up to 40% additional retirement income for life.”