The state pension age for women, which is currently 60, will be increased to 65 in a phased programme between 2010 and 2020.
This means that insurers and customers should now be planning for these changes.
Many existing policies, and the majority of new ones, offer cover on the assumption that men retire at 65 and women at 60.
The increased ages to which many live, and economic woes, also mean that many people will choose to work up to 70 or older.
If you have an existing critical illness or income protection policy, check that it will pay up if you have a claim and decide to retire later than you thought when you took out the policy.
If you are considering a new policy, check that insurers will allow you to work up to the new retirement ages, or beyond.
Remember that new age discrimination laws mean that employers can no longer force you to retire at either the company or state retirement age.
Insurers should follow the lead of the minority who have amended their policies to allow people to retire at a later age than they intended in the past, now, or the future.
Income protection insurance: News update: December 2008