Life Expectancy in Australia Continues to Improve

It is not just actuaries and demographers that should take an interest in the latest Life Tables published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). They contain important information for superannuation funds, financial advisors, or anyone interested in the future of retirees.

Life expectancy in Australia has reached record highs.

ABS Media Release 30 Oct 2019

Australian Life TablesThese latest Australian Life Tables based on the 2016-2018 period and show that life expectancy in Australia continues to improve with life expectancy at birth being 81 years for males and 85 years for females.

However, of more interest to us is life expectancy at age 65. That is, the average number of years that a person at age 65 can be expected to live. These numbers are 85 years for males and 88 years for females. Or, to put it another way, based on this data, a 65-year-old male can expect to live, on average, another 20 years and a female another 23 years.

The chart shows that in recent years, life expectancy for males has improved at a faster rate than that for women. The gap between the two is narrowing.

When considering products and services for retirees, it is important not just to look at these two numbers. There are a couple of important facts behind the life expectancy tables that we need to factor in when considering the best interest of retirees.

Firstly, these life expectancy statistics are averages which means that half the population is expected to exceed these averages. Secondly, these life tables do not take into account future assumed improvements in mortality. Given the trends in life expectancy, superannuation funds should be developing products and services with the knowledge that a large group of their members that will live well into their nineties and onwards to 100.

Are you helping prepare your members for the 100-year life?

The full release including the data can be downloaded here.


The Optimum Pensions Real Lifetime Pension is an investment linked lifetime income stream where the assets stay in investment options managed by the superannuation fund but longevity risk is transferred to a global reinsurer. Find out more Real Lifetime Pension.

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