Britain plans to tell pensioners how long they’ll liveNews added by Benefits Pro on April 18, 2014

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By Lisa Barron

British pensioners will receive estimates of their life expectancy to help them manage their retirement savings.

According to pension minister Steve Webb, the government wants to provide pensioners with a rough idea of how long they have left to live when they reach retirement to allow them to make better financial decisions.

Experts will take into account factors such as gender, place of residence and whether they smoke, he said.

In addition, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in last month's budget that Britons would no longer be required to use their pension savings to buy an annuity.

And starting next year, it will be easier and cheaper to withdraw money from a pension savings account to use for other purposes.

Critics of the change have argued that retirees could end up in dire straits financially if they spend their money too soon.

Webb said that people often underestimate their life expectancy. "The idea is that you come to think about retiring but you don't know how long that retirement is going to be. What we do know is people get it wrong ad they underestimate how log they're going to live."

"At 60 most people will have parents still alive so the best guide they've got about how long they are going to live is their grandparents. That's two generations ago so they tend to underestimate how long they are going to live," he said.

"My idea…is to say to somebody, 'Look, someone of your generation, living in this part of the country, you've not smoked, someone like you could easily live for 27 years.'"

Webb said the guidance would be given in person by savings advisors to any pensioner who asks for the information.

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