Retirement age takes step backwards

Average life expectancy reduces to 80.72 years

Anyone hoping for retirement got the bittersweet news today that they have three months less to wait.

Instead of qualifying for retirement at the age of 66 years seven months, men and women aged 66 years FOUR months will now be able to ‘put in their papers’, looking forwards still to an average of 19.35 years in which they will hopefully be able to enjoy their twilight years without having to set the alarm every morning.

Data published today by national statistics institute INE shows life-expectancy has ‘reduced’ by 0.35 points during the pandemicnot simply due to mortality as a result of Covid-19, but increased mortality across the board.

Stress reports, the legal retirement age had been increasing before the pandemic, “associated to average life expectancy” (which had also been increasing).

But if this all sounds too morbid, Portuguese citizens are still living into their 80s in large numbers (average life expectancy at birth being pegged at 80.72 years, but many hundreds if not thousands living well past average life expectancy).

Life expectancy for women higher than it is for men

If life expectancy is calculated according to gender – even with the results of the pandemic years – women are living an average of 83.37 years; men only an average of 77.67. 

Says INE, “these values, relating to 2018-2020, represent a reduction of 4.8 months for men, and 3.6 months for women as a result of the increasing number of deaths in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Looking back over the last decade, life expectancy for the population as a whole increased by 14 months (14.4 months for men; 11.3 for women).

While in women the increase resulted mainly from the reduction in mortality at ages equal to or above 60 years, in men the increase continued to result mainly from the reduction in mortality at ages below 60 years.

For the period 2019-2021, 36.1 per cent of male live births and 57.3 per cent of female live births were estimated to survive to the age of 85 “if subject throughout their lives to the age-specific mortality conditions observed in this period,” according to INE.

In 2018-2020, these figures were 38.3% for men and 59.1% for women.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com