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Getting older set to cost trillions

TENS of trillions of euro would be added to the global costs of ageing if people live just three years longer than now expected, a new IMF study forecasts.

Experts have consistently underestimated longevity by around three years in the past.

If they are wrong again, the additional living expenses of the elderly would amount to between 25pc and 50pc of GDP.

However, Irish pension providers come out of the statistics quite well. They have allowed for average life expectancy of 86 years, higher than most countries studied, but the figure has risen to 81.7 years already. The young Irish population means average age will peak later -- when longevity may have increased further.