FUTURE Hampshire pensioners face the misery of failing care and pitiful pensions, a study warns today.
The number of over-85s is set to soar by up to 155% in some areas of the county within 20 years, but society is “woefully underprepared”.
Now a committee of peers has warned ministers they must act now to prepare Britain for a “greying society” – and prevent a crisis.
Lord Filkin, the committee’s chairman, warned: “As a country, we are not ready for the rapid ageing of our population.
“A big shift in services is essential, so that the many more older people with long-term conditions can be well cared for and supported in their own homes and in the community - and not needlessly end up in hospital.
“And people must be better informed to get a better idea of the income they may get in retirement from their pension savings. They should be able to work later if they wish to do so.”
The report, entitled ‘Ready for Ageing’, found that the number of people aged 85 and over will double in England, between 2010 and 2030.
But the increases will be even larger in most of Hampshire, including in Winchester (up 105.9%), Eastleigh (up 107.1%), Fareham (up 133.3%) and Test Valley (up 140%).
Two districts of Hampshire – Gosport (up 155%) and Basingstoke & Deane (up 155.6%) – are expected to record some of the biggest leaps anywhere in England.
Only Southampton, where the number of over-85s is expected to grow by 57.4%, according to the Office of National Statistics, will escape at least a doubling of the ‘grey’ population.
The report calls for:
- Proposals, within 12 months of the 2015 general election, on how “failing” health and social care funding will change to serve an ageing population.
- Urgent action to explain how an expected £54bn NHS ‘funding gap by 2022 will be plugged.
- Measures to make it easier for older people to work longer, to boost their “insufficient savings and pensions”.
- Measures to require financial services companies to tackle “serious defects in pensions”.
- New low-fee products to allow homeowners to use the value of their properties to stem falling incomes in old age.
Lord Filkin added: “This is not a distant issue - our population is older now and will get more so over the next decade.
“The public are entitled to an honest conversation about the implications.”
Across Great Britain, 10.7m people are currently expected to retire on an inadequate income, the report found.