As in many other Western countries, the demographic structure of Britain is changing as its ageing population grows proportionately ever larger. Today, 1 in 6 Britons are over 65; by 2034 it will be nearly 1 in 4. Greater longevity is, of course, something to be celebrated, but the structural changes in the population need to be carefully addressed.
Current low birth rates mean that there will be fewer workers in coming decades to fund those living in retirement. Unless present arrangements are adjusted, this population trend will place a huge, unsustainable burden on the NHS, social care provisions and our pension system.
The government is acutely aware of these problems, as witnessed by the programme to raise retirement ages, and the debate about the best way to fund the growing cost of old-age care. Incentives to increase the birthrate, or higher immigration, could also play their part. IF supports research into these issues, and is actively participating in the debate.