Rise in state pension age to be delayed

An increase in the state pension age that would have seen thousands of women facing an additional two year wait has been delayed by six months.

The Pensions Bill, which is currently going through parliament, will be amended to cap any increase to a maximum of 18 months. Previously, the Bill proposed that the state pension age for women will rise from 60 to 65 by November 2018, and to 66 for both men and women by April 2020. The amendments will mean that the age for men and women will reach 66 in October 2020.

Commenting on the announcement Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said: “We have listened to the concerns of those women most affected by the proposed rise in state pension age to 66 and so we will cap the increase to a maximum of 18 months. We have always made clear that we would manage any change fairly and ensure any transition is as smooth as possible.”

Pension bodies have welcomed the changes, but still feel that more could have been done to prevent those women born between December 1953 and October 1954 who will still be hit with an additional 18 months to wait to reach state pension age.

Joanne Segars, chief executive of NAPF said: “This takes some of the sting out of what was a very raw deal for many women.

“This is a useful bit of leeway. People need time to prepare their finances for the transition into retirement, and there’s now a clearer ceiling on what to expect.

“But a lot of women in their late 50s are still being told to wait another 18 months, and many will struggle to bridge the gap. The Government could have done a bit more to give them extra notice.”

Charity Age UK has been campaigning for the Government to make changes to the Pensions Bill Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK, commented: “We would have liked the changes being made to have gone further. Having faced uncertainty twice already, these women must not be affected by any further changes to their state pension age again without sufficient notice.”

After 66, the current Pensions Bill timetables a rise to 67 for between 2034 and 2036, but according to the Daily Mail, Whitehall may soon announce that this increase will be brought forward by as much as a decade.