State pension age changes may mean Britons need to work longer

Autumn Statement: Hunt on pension triple lock

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At present, the state pension age is currently 66. This is following a process of age equalisation, as the retirement age was previously 60 for women and 65 for men.

However, this is not the end of changes which are in store for the state pension age.

A further rise to 67 is currently set out in legislation for those born on or after April 1960.

Following this, current plans suggest a gradual increase to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 1977.

This review, however, will consider whether the increase to age 68 should be brought forward.

If accepted, it would mean the state pension age would rise to 68 between 2037 and 2039 – with widespread impacts for Britons.

It could see people working longer than they originally expected before being able to claim the state pension.

Last week, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed the issue was still on the table.

In his Autumn Statement, he remarked: “The Government’s review of the state pension age will be published in early 2023.”

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The review was first launched in December 2021, with an announcement about the scope of its consideration.

It will look at whether the current rules around state pension age are appropriate.

The review is considering important facets such as the latest life expectancy data, as well as other evidence.

In accordance with the law, the latest review must be published by May 7, 2023, aligning with Mr Hunt’s latest statements.

It leaves Britons with several months to wait before the matter becomes more clear.

But why is the state pension age being reviewed?

The original review announcement stated: “As the number of people over state pension age increases, due to a growing population and people on average living longer, the Government needs to make sure that decisions on how to manage its costs are, robust, fair and transparent for taxpayers now and in the future. 

“It must also ensure that as the population becomes older, the state pension continues to provide the foundation for retirement planning and financial security.”

During the passage of the Pensions Act 2014, it was agreed the review would consider evidence from across the UK.

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The Government has therefore confirmed it will consider “differences across countries and regions”, including Northern Ireland.

The document added: “It will also consider the effects for individuals with different characteristics and opportunities, including those at risk of disadvantage.”

Life expectancy has been falling, leading one former pensions minister to assert the state pension age increase needs to be rethought. 

Sir Steve Webb, partner at LCP, previously stated: “The last review of state pension ages was based on data which is now more than six years out of date. 

“Since then, life expectancy at pension age for both men and women has dropped by more than two years.  

“Such a dramatic shift in such a short space of time calls for a fundamental rethink of the Government’s plans for increases in state pension age.”

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