To be precise, for a 'service' which performs umpteen thousand risk assessments every day, they appear to have real trouble with properly assessing the risk of future costs. Perhaps they should invest in some well-qualified actuaries like the pensions industry do.
Smokers and people with weight problems are buying a tailored pension income in greater numbers, according to research.Yep. They have realised that even in a market which doesn't enforce extra premiums on the 'unhealthy' (such as pigovian/sumptuary taxes), it is the clean-living who will create more of a financial burden on the industry in the future, simply by generally living longer.
Enhanced annuities provide bigger pensions for those with serious medical conditions or lifestyle choices that might lower their life expectancy.
[Andy Sanders, senior consultant at Towers Watson, said] "For those lives that do not qualify for an enhancement, average expectations of life are longer and need to be reflected in lower levels of pension income offered."
Yet, from every area of our nationalised health system, we continually hear tales of how much extra smokers, drinkers and the overweight 'cost' the NHS compared with those who abstain, despite the years of nil cost which the pensions number-crunchers have identified.
They can't both be correct, and maybe it is the pensions sector who are doing things wrong, so let's look at the evidence.
Well, one is an industry which is highly profitable, and lives and dies by the quality of its financial acumen and budgetary restraint, whilst the other has had its budget increased regularly year on year but still can't seem to make ends meet.
Hmmm, whaddya think?