Modelling ageing populations to 2030
The MAP2030 Research Group, inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional (see below), is investigating the needs and resources of older people to 2030 in this 3-year project that started in January 2007.
The MAP2030 research team consists partners of London School of Economics (Department of Social Policy, Personal Social Services Research Unit), University of Leicester (Department of Health Sciences), London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Centre for Population Studies), University of Essex (Department of Health & Human Sciences) and Pensions Policy Institute. These are academic partners. Non academic partner includes Department for Work and Pensions.
In the UK the number of people over the state pension age is projected to rise by almost 40% in the next 25 years. The number aged 80 and over, where care needs are greatest, will nearly double. The financial, family, social and health resources of the older population have substantial implications for the well-being of those concerned and for public policy, but consistent projections of their likely future circumstances are lacking.
Key issues to be investigated include how trends in mortality and morbidity will evolve, and if the extra years of life will be lived in good health; the consequences of changes in family circumstances on the availability of informal sources of care and for older people’s social participation; and older people’s ability to meet care costs. Statistical analyses will increase our understanding of trends in the relationships between the determinants of needs and resources: mortality; disease and disability; household/family formation and kinship; family support and the availability and need for informal care; need for formal care services; accumulation and distribution of income and assets in later life, and how they differ between socio-economic and income groups.
The project will use simulation models to project up to 2030 the numbers, family circumstances, income, pensions, savings, disability and care needs (formal and informal), the key determinants of the resources and needs of older people. Special attention will be given to the inter-relationships between care needs (and their determinants) and economic resources in later life, and to the affordability, and distribution of costs and benefits. For the first time, long-term care and pensions policy reform options may be analysed together - including co-payments systems for long-term care and proposals in the Government White Paper on pension reform. The project builds upon models that have already been developed by members of the Research Team at their various institutions and brings them together to improve the range of outputs that each of the models can produce.
The MAP2030 Programme is composed of five linked Work Packages, as is shown by the diagram. Collaboration between the Work Packages is being led by the aim of providing an integrated picture of the needs and resources of older people.
Mortality trends and their implications: to produce a range of alternative forecasts of mortality using a variety of approaches, both overall and specific by variables such as cause of death and marital status using overall and cause-specific mortality rate time series for a number of countries
Future disease patterns & their implications for disability in later life: to explore how changes in patterns of diseases (through treatment and prevention) will affect the burden of disability (and hence the need for care) and disability-free life expectancy to 2030 using the MRC Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (CFAS), a total population survey encompassing those within institutions and the only UK longitudinal dataset of sufficient size for less common diseases
Changing family units & kinship structure: to provide estimates of number of kin distinguishing important categories, such as partners and numbers of living children - the most important providers of informal care - by sex and marital status of both generations. This involves further development of methods to analyse such kinship networks. Data will include the use of constructed long-run series of demographic rates and new analysis of surveys such as the General Household Survey (GHS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)
Household & family resources: to model demographic and other determinants of household type and household type transitions, and the associations between family resources, socio-economic circumstances and social participation. Analysis of transitions between different types of household uses the ONS Longitudinal Study and associations between marital status/history and number of children and both family interaction and other forms of social activity/participation uses ELSA and CFAS
Projections of pensions, incomes, savings, care (paid & unpaid); expenditure on pensions & long-term care - the key aims are: (1) a set of projections investigating the impact of alternative trends in mortality, disability, household type and the availability of informal care, based on the in-depth work carried out in the other Work Packages and related analyses and improvements to the models in this Work Package; (2) a set of projections under different policy options, including a unified analysis of pension reforms and long-term care financing reforms, produced in a consistent, joined-up manner. This will show the trade-offs between public and private spending on pensions and long-term care under different policy options. We expect to be able to respond to the changing policy scene to provide analyses of options which may emerge during the course of the project, (3) outputs from the analyses of GHS and ELSA data, beyond those incorporated in the models, will add to the international literature on the relationship between socio-economic resources and receipt of informal care in the context of changing community care policies, facilitating new conceptual thinking about the relationships surrounding receipt of informal and formal care. These will involve development of current models, the Personal Social Services Research Unit’s (PSSRU) macro-simulation projections model of long-term care, the dynamic micro-simulation model of care charges, CARESIM, and the Pensions Policy Institute’s (PPI) models that investigate different aspects of current pension policy and alternative reform options.
Key issues to be investigated include how trends in mortality and morbidity will evolve, and if the extra years of life will be lived in good health; the consequences of changes in family circumstances on the availability of informal sources of care and for older people’s social participation; and older people’s ability to meet care costs. The project will use simulation models to project up to 2030 the numbers, family circumstances, income, pensions, savings, disability and care needs (formal and informal), the key determinants of the resources and needs of older people. Special attention will be given to the inter-relationships between care needs (and their determinants) and economic resources in later life, and to the affordability, and distribution of costs and benefits. The coverage is therefore broad and consequently, of interest to a larger constituency than many projects.
A key objective is to analyse long-term care and pensions policy reform options together - including co-payments systems for long-term care and proposals in the Government White Paper on pension reform. We would expect to be centrally involved in discussion relating to policy development since we hope the outcomes will be of interest to those concerned with key trends among older people and, in particular, their impact on long-term care and pensions policy. We are working closely with DWP, our non-academic partner, and that we want to invite a senior analyst at HMT to join our Advisory Group. A meeting has been held with BT (who also presented at our stakeholder meeting) about the potential effect of telecare developments on the issues which our modelling is intended to address, and what we can learn from each other’s modelling in this area. We have already been in contact with Baroness Hollis. We recently has a stakeholders meetings, which included the main Civil Society organisations, as well as central and Local Government bodies, as a list of those attending is attached together with a questionnaire we distributed (see also MAP2030 website. We are hoping to put on a meeting or series of meetings with ILC-UK and the Institute of Actuaries.
We have been fairly pro-active in this area, but we would expand these activities with some additional funding, for example, by organising seminars for senior figures in central and local government, the voluntary sector and the financial services sector. We will also arrange knowledge transfer events with government analysts involved in similar modelling.
In the past we have been involved in talks for policy makers, e.g. two last year organised respectively by ESRC/ONS (under its 'Mapping the Policy Landscape' series) and ESRC/DCMS, we would be happy to organise one of these towards the end of the project.