EUROPE - Rapidly rising longevity levels in the Netherlands are not a fluke but an ongoing trend, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

New figures from the CBS show that life expectancy for men born in 2010 has increased by 2.3 years on average compared with men born in 2000. These men can expect to live 78.8 years on average.

For females born between 2000 and 2010, the CBS found an increase of 2.1 years. It now predicts a life expectancy of 82.7 years on average for women born last year.

The CBS also found that, over the last 10 years, life expectancy for 65-year-old males has risen by 2.2 years to an average of 17.6 years.

Females at retirement age can now expect to live for another 20.8 years on average, an increase of 1.6 years since 2000.

The CBS said the remaining life expectancy of 65 year olds would increase even further - by 1.5 years for men and 1.2 years for women - if mortality risks kept falling in accordance with the most recent population prognosis.

Egbert Kromme, chairman of the mortality research advice committee at the Actuarial Society (AG), said: "The new CBS figures confirm what we have already established with our prognosis tables in September 2010 - that the trend of rising longevity of the past decade is really continuing.

"Every year, life expectancy is rising by two or three months, and the average age is increasing by approximately two years every 10 years."

Frank Driessen, chief actuary at Aon Hewitt, said that, according to his consultancy's review, the CBS's new figures even fall short of the AG's mortality tables. But he added that the difference was so small that it would most likely have no effect on pension funds.

However, he noted that any impact on pension schemes would depend on the age of their participants.

The AG will use the CBS's raw figures to draw up its prognosis for future life expectancy for pension funds and insurers, according to Kromme.

He said quickly rising longevity had been the reason why the AG was now drawing up new mortality tables every two years, rather than every five.

The AG is expected to publish its next prognosis in September 2012.