Oldest person in UK turns 113 today but what does this mean for your pensions savings plans?

Hayley Kirton
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Happy Birthday
If you want to celebrate your later birthdays in style, you'll need to keep topping up your pension (Source: Getty)

If you were worrying about the number of candles on your most recent birthday cake, don't: you'd have to go a long way to compete with Gladys Hooper, who celebrates her 113th today.

While BBC News reported that Hooper, who is the oldest person in the UK according to Gerontology Research Group records, would be glad to celebrate her birthday with a cup of tea and a slice of cake while surrounded by friends and family, some of us are left wondering if our pension would allow us life's little luxuries if we were lucky enough to live so long.

"When you’re considering when to retire the important factors are how long you might live and how much money you’ll need," said Steven Cameron, regulatory strategy director at Aegon UK.

"The average life expectancy of a woman turning 65 this year is 86, meaning savings need to last for 21 years.

"That’s just an average though. About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95."

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Cameron also warned that, while the introduction of pensions freedoms last April gave people more flexibility over how they access their retirement savings, it also means pensions savers have to take greater responsibility to budget for their retirement sensibly.

"As we celebrate Gladys’ birthday, let’s also take it as a reminder that people need to balance the decision to access savings in early retirement, versus the likelihood that they’ll live to a grand old age," Cameron continued.

Meanwhile, Joanne Segars, chief executive at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, added:

Happy Birthday to Gladys Hooper. It's possible that in the future many more of us will live to the same age as [her]. That's good news but we will all need to prepare for a happy longer older age and that will likely mean saving more. Get ahead and join your workplace pension scheme – by the end of this year nearly everyone working will be able to do that as part of automatic enrolment.

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