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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

IFoA and ILC-UK ‘Reimagine Ageing’

On 14 June, the IFoA hosted an International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) event entitled ‘Reimagining Ageing.


IFoA and ILC-UK‘Reimagine Ageing’
IFoA and ILC-UK'Reimagine Ageing'

On 14 June, the IFoA hosted an International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) event entitled ‘Reimagining Ageing’. In a packed Staple Inn, the audience heard from three Honorary Fellows of the IFoA: Baroness Sally Greengross, chief executive at the ILC-UK; Dr Madhavi Bajekal, senior research fellow at University College London; and Carol Jagger, professor of the epidemiology of ageing at Newcastle University – as well as a keynote lecture from Stuart Gietel-Basten, associate professor of social science and public policy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Steven Baxter of Club Vita completed the panel. 

Professor Gietel-Basten set out an impassioned case for rethinking the way we see retirement and retirees in the context of our ageing population. His key assertion was that ageing populations are often presented as an existential threat, and traditional demographic measures of ageing amplify the message that longevity creates an economic and social problem which needs to be solved. However, these measures are based upon binary ideas: of being ‘old’ at 60 or 65 and then becoming ‘dependent’ on the labour force below this age. Professor Gietel-Basten and his collaborators in Europe and the US have turned this idea on its head, presenting a radically different way of measuring ageing which, in turn, reconceptualises the entire concept of how longevity and society interact with each other. 

The slides from the event can be found at bit.ly/2XX4tdx