One million of the 11.5 million people in the UK aged 50-64 are economically inactive due to involuntary early labour market exits, largely resulting from health and care needs or caring responsibilities.

In 2017 alone, in better off countries 27.1 million years were lived with disability due to largely preventable disease, and this number is projected to increase by 17% within the next 25 years, according to new research.

This is a topic to be discusses at the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) Future of Ageing conference tomorrow as well as the importance of preventative healthcare in ensuring population ageing is a boost for UK.

A new report (Maximising the longevity dividend) will also be launched that will highlight the increasingly significant contribution of older people to productivity. It will reveal that by 2040, the earned income generated by people aged 50 and over may account for 40% of total earnings – up from 23% in 2004 and 30% in 2018. Moreover, by 2028, more people aged 60 and over may work part-time than any other age group except for people aged under 30.

Prevention must be at the heart of longevity

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Public Health, said: “Government, employers, families and local communities must all play their part if we are to support those entering and living through later life to be healthy, skilled and active members of society

“Too often the story we tell ourselves about the UK’s ageing population descends into catastrophe rhetoric – witness the so-called ‘silver tsunami’ and ‘cliff-edge retirement’.  We have got this the wrong way around: in fact, it is only by capitalising on the positive opportunities presented by an ageing population that we can address some of the key challenges of the 21st century.”

“For such a longevity strategy to succeed, it is clear that prevention must be at the absolute heart.”