NETHERLANDS - The Dutch Actuarial Society (AG) has confirmed that the predictions for life expectancy need to be adjusted upwards considerably.

The AG said in a statement that the upward deviation is increasing and noted: "The results of our tables for 2003-2008 show that our earlier prognoses have clearly been too low."

In analysing the five-year mortality figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the AG found boys and girls born between 2003 and 2008 are likely to live over 0.6 years longer and will on average reach the ages of 77.4 and 81.7 respectively.

The actuaries' representative body has now officially recommended that its members take these developments into account when certifying pension fund accounts for 2009 2009.

The rate of longevity increase for women has actually slowed slightly, and the gap in life expectancy between men and women has therefore decreased, according to the Actuarial Society.

Interestingly, figures just presented by CBS also suggest the life expectancy of boys and girls born in the Netherlands in 2008 is 78.3 and 82.3 years.

Men have gained 5.8 years to their overall life expectancy since 1980, while the predicted longevity of women has increased 3.1 years in the same period.

The statistics agency also noted a drop in the rate of longevity increase every year between 2002 and 2007, despite population ageing.

"The AG figures come as no surprise, as we have already noticed these developments. However, in our opinion the AG should base its prognosis even further on the CBS predictions," said Arnold Jager, of consultancy firm Hewitt Associates.

"What we really need is an update on mortality trends into the future, based on developments in medical science, so we may know, for example, the likely life expectancy of a 50-year old in 2020," the consultant pointed out.

Jager said his company will use the CBS figures when assessing longevity, which means a 4% increase in liabilities for pension funds.

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