UK mortality rates remain at historically low levels following a sharp fall in COVID-19-related deaths, the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) has revealed.
The CMI's latest update shows that there were 992 fewer deaths registered in England and Wales between 22 May and 28 May 2021 (week 21) than during the corresponding week of 2019.
This is equivalent to 9% fewer deaths than would typically be expected, while over the four weeks from week 18 to week 21, mortality was 11% lower than normal on average.
Based on figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the analysis also shows that COVID-19-related deaths fell from 107 in week 20, to 95 in week 21.
Overall, the CMI now estimates that there have been 100,600 more deaths from all causes than expected in the UK since the start of the pandemic, of which 27, 700 have occurred this year.
Cobus Daneel, chair of the CMI's Mortality Projections Committee, said: “Deaths from causes other than COVID-19 were significantly below normal levels for April and May.
“With COVID-19 deaths having fallen by nearly 99% since the peak in January, we are seeing all-cause mortality rates at historically low levels for the time of year.”
Owned by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the CMI has been publishing analysis of the UK's mortality rate during the coronavirus crisis through its mortality monitor.
The latest update comes after report from Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP) earlier this year suggested that the UK's defined benefit (DB) pension schemes are unlikely to see a large fall in their liabilities due to the pandemic.
It outlines how confining COVID-19 to two waves would cause life expectancy to shorten by an average of one month for people at the age of 65, resulting in a £4bn reduction in DB liabilities.
“The pandemic has introduced more uncertainty and trying to understand the long-term impact of COVID-19 is challenging,” said Chris Tavener, author of the report.
“In order for there to be a significant reduction in pension scheme liabilities, we would have to assume that the pandemic will leave an everlasting hangover, with mortality rates higher than previously assumed for many, many years.”
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Author: Chris Seekings