‘The Dependency Trap – are we fit enough to face the future?’

 Held on Monday, January 29, 2018, 6.00pm to 8.00pm

Hosted by Schroders, sponsors of the report


  • Les Mayhew (Cass Business School)

  • Jules Constantinou (Gen Re)

  • Anna Dixon (Ageing Better)

  • Lesley-Ann Morgan (Schroders)

  • Andrew Scott (London Business School)



The UK population is forecast to grow from 65m in 2015 to 75m in 2040, with the number aged 65-plus set to increase by 50%, from 12m to 18m. The classic “dependency trap” is that an ageing society has fewer workers to support every pensioner, piling pressure on health and social care services, and on the taxpayers that fund them. But the classic ratio of those aged 20-64 to those aged 65-plus is a crude measure of whether an economy can thrive as its population ages.

This report, by Professor Les Mayhew, of Cass Business School, focuses on economic activity, which starts to tail off when people reach 50, with ill health, or disability, as the biggest single cause. This means that raising the state pension age, as a response to increased longevity, is not sufficient. Attention needs to focus on improving activity rates in the lengthening run-up to retirement. This would raise lifetime earnings and saving levels, as well as providing the tax revenues needed to fund state benefits.

Using new data and analytical tools, Professor Mayhew explores the link between healthy life expectancy and activity rates, including the UK’s wide regional variations. The report also looks more broadly at earnings patterns and the impact of career interruptions on the size of pension pots – a big issue for women. Private saving is built on the platform of the UK’s state pension system, and the report also considers its sustainability. 

Les Mayhew, Professor of Statistics at Cass Business School, which also supported this report, will present the findings. Les is also Managing Director of Mayhew Harper Associates. His civil service career included senior roles at the Department(s) of Health and Social Security, Treasury, and as a board member of the ONS. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and a member of the Royal Economic Society.

We are delighted to have four distinguished respondents: 

  • Jules Constantinou, President-elect of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Chair of the ABI’s Social Care Working Group. His “day job” is running the UK and Ireland Life and Health businesses of Gen Re, where he has held senior positions since 1993.
  • Anna Dixon, Chief Executive of The Centre for Ageing Better. Previously she was at the Department of Health where she was Director of Strategy and Chief Analyst, and was also Lecturer in European Health Policy at the LSE. In 2005-6 she was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy by the Commonwealth Fund of New York.
  • Lesley-Ann Morgan, Global Head of Defined Contribution and Retirement at Schroders and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. Lesley-Ann has over 20 years of experience in providing investment advice to DC and DB pension schemes globally.
  • Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics at London Business School and Fellow of All Souls, Oxford, and the Centre for Economic Policy Research. He is co-author, with Lynda Grattan, of the award-winning book, ‘The 100-Year Life’. Current roles include serving on the advisory board of the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility.

Doors open at 5.30pm and, thanks to the generosity of Schroders, there will be refreshments before and after the formal part of the event. If you (or a colleague) can make it, please let us know by emailing alex@csfi.org or by calling the CSFI on 020 7621 1056.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton