Ageing population and financial services (UK)

Financial Conduct Authority in UK published the “Ageing population and financial services” report.

Linda Woodall (Director of Life Insurance and Financial Advice and Sponsor of Ageing Population Project Financial Conduct Authority) published this introduction of the report.

People are living longer lives on an unprecedented scale.

In the next five years, the number of consumers aged over 65 in the UK is expected to increase by 1.1 million, and the proportion of people aged over 100 will rise by 40%.

And it is well established that those aged 85 and over represent the fastest growing segment of the UK population. Demographic change is at the heart of the challenges posed by the ageing population. Regulators and firms need to adapt to make sure that financial services are still fit for purpose, and able to meet the wide range of needs of today’s older consumers.

To establish whether our regulatory settings are in the right place, we first need to ensure that we understand the complex range of issues and opportunities at play for older consumers. Financial services should genuinely meet the changing needs of older people, at every stage of later life. I am leading a new team at the FCA that is
looking specifically at the challenges facing the ageing population and financial services. We are conducting a programme of research and stakeholder engagement to deepen our understanding about how markets work for older consumers, allowing us to make recommendations that improve outcomes for these cohorts.

One thing we do know is that one size does not fit all.

Older consumers are a diverse population, with different beliefs, behaviours and needs, all of which affect the way in which they interact with money and financial services. Within diverse groups of consumers, an individual’s needs and attitudes can change over time.

While someone retiring in 1965 would have expected to enjoy only a few years of retirement, (with the average life expectancy in the UK at just under 72), now it is not uncommon for retirement to last two to three decades.

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