St Albans named one of top five areas for life expectancy
PUBLISHED: 10:53 14 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:01 14 December 2016
Residents of St Albans, Harpenden, Welwyn and Hatfield are expected to live longer than most people in the UK.
According to a new study by Willis Towers Watson, people in the St Albans AL postcode area have one of the highest life expectancies after retirement of all UK residents.
The study of mortality rates among people receiving private sector occupational pensions placed Kingston-upon-Thames at the top of the list, followed by Hemel Hempstead, Guildford, Slough and St Albans.
Watford was also on the list, in tenth place. The only area in the top 10 that wasn’t in the South East was Harrogate, North Yorkshire, leading Willis Towers Watson to describe the area around London as a ‘longevity ring’.
Conversely, the 10 bottom areas for life expectancy were all in Scotland or the north of England, with Sunderland, Liverpool and Hull taking the three lowest places.
Not surprisingly, money plays a part in this. Stephen Caine, senior mortality consultant at Willis Towers Watson said: “There are distinct differences in life expectancy in different areas of the country but in reality it is not the geography itself that is important, it’s the economic and lifestyle factors that are indicative of residents in different areas of the country.
“What this research highlights is that pensioners living in the outer ring surrounding London are the most likely to have had well-paid jobs and to have enjoyed a relatively comfortable and healthy working life which, alongside other factors, are strongly linked to longer lifespans.”
The average life expectancy for a St Albans pensioner is 89.49 years, compared to 89.74 in Kingston-upon-Thames and 87.5 in Sunderland.
Caine said: “Postcodes, when used in tandem with other factors, are a powerful predictor of life expectancy and are used by many areas of the financial services industry. For example, insurers take postcode into account when people go to buy a pension annuity at retirement.
“Similarly for employers that support a defined benefit pension scheme, our postcode mortality analysis helps those running the scheme understand the life expectancy of their own membership in order to better judge how much money needs to be put aside now to pay pensions in future.”