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On point paper

Could early intervention prevent a retirement disability benefit timebomb?

Health Pensions & benefits Personal finance
Dr Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard Partner & Head of Health Analytics
Robert King Consultant

The increasing number of working-age individuals in the UK unable to work due to sickness or disability is a growing concern. Unless steps are taken to improve the health of individuals, there is a risk of a significant number of people spending a decade or more in retirement on disability benefits.

In our latest on-point paper, we look at the potential cost of leaving this growth in working age disability unresolved and provide preventative health recommendations for the public and government.

Key findings from the research include:

  • At present, just under 100,000 people aged exactly 66 (state pension age) receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA). On average, the paper suggests that such people are likely to draw benefits for another 11 years. The total payments per person would be around £70,000 and more if they are on a low income and claiming means-tested benefits as well.
  • Over half of the people on PIP at state pension age will continue claiming PIP until they die.
  • Without action, the total number of pensioners on PIP/DLA is likely to rise by around 60% in the next decade from roughly 1 million now to 1.6 million in 2033; the total cost, in current price terms, would rise from around £6bn to £10.5bn.

Read the paper