Thursday, 17 April 2014

When we should die?

The craziest proposal from the government on pensions is that everyone will be given 'advice' on their life expectancy. This is an absurd misjudgement about the nature of health science. The idea that data obtained and applicable at a population level can be given for an individual is wide of the mark. Not only is it crazy, it is also from an insurance point of view highly dangerous. It begs also the question of who will give this advice and on what it will be based. Frankly I doubt if the medical profession would touch it with a barge pole.

Unless someone has a particular condition with a particular prognosis a GP would be unable to judge for any of their patients how long they will live. Of course an average life expectancy for the population is available together with relative risks from smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise and so on. But it is all somewhat guesswork for any given individual.

So the government having made the decision to 'allow' people to spend their retirement savings as they wish discover it is potentially a dangerous policy. Now they want to tell us how long we may expect to live in retirement. Next they will want to tell us when we should die, and then...It is all a very dangerous state of affairs.  

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