A rise in the number of people aged 90 years and above suggests a further increase to the state pension age may be inevitable, experts warn.

Figures published last week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded an increase of 0.7 per cent in the figure of people aged 90 and over, from 579,776 in 2017 to 584,024 in 2018.

The age at which people can claim the state pension is scheduled to increase to 66 by 2020, 67 between 2026 and 2028, and 68 between 2044 and 2046.

Earlier this year a think tank chaired by Iain Duncan Smith MP, the former secretary of state for Work and Pensions, suggested the state pension age would need to reach 75 by 2035 for the UK to cope adequately with its ageing population.

Speaking to the FT Adviser website, Malcolm McLean, senior consultant at professional services consultancy Barnett Waddingham said: “Although all politicians may insist they have no plans to increase the state pension age much beyond the present level, it seems inevitable on cost and affordability grounds, with a continuing ageing population, that further increases will be necessary. If not to the age of 75 then probably to 70 at least by the mid-point of the century.”

His opinions were echoed by Steven Cameron, pensions director at insurance giant Aegon. “One in five males and one in three females born in 2016 to 2018 are likely to celebrate their 90th birthday,” he said.

“A longer life requires more money to make the most of it. For those using their pension pot to generate an income throughout their retirement, there’s now a very real prospect of needing to plan for an income to last well into your 90s.

“With more people already reaching 90 and the expectation of this continuing to increase, there’s also a greater likelihood of requiring social care in your later years, and this needs to be paid for.”