State pension age could rise faster than planned

The state pension age could rise even faster than set out in the Pensions Bill, according to pensions minister Steve Webb.

In an interview with the Observer, Webb said that further moves were necessary, and that timescales for increasing the retirement age to 67 and 68 – currently not planned until 2036, and 2046 respectively – are too slow.

The most likely date for a rise to 67, is 2026, according to the Observer, and would mirror changes that have been proposed in the Netherlands.

But the timetable could be changed further to ‘undo its betrayal of millions of older women’ according to Dr Ros Altmann.

Current plans to increase the state pension age from 65 to 66 between 2018 and 2020, mean that the women’s state pension age rises much quicker than initially anticipated to reach 65 by 2018 – a move which the Coalition Agreement said would not happen.

So far 161 MPs have signed a motion opposing the plans, claiming they do not give women enough notice – particularly those that are 57 and 58 at the moment, who will see their state pension age increased by a further two years.

Dr Altmann claims that a slight change of plan would still save more than £30billion, and give older women more notice. She proposes a new timetable with pension age at 66 in 2022, and 67 in the following years.

“It would give people much fairer notice (over 10 years) and would still raise even more money than the current proposals,” Altmann said.

New statistics on life expectancy, which are released every two years are expected next month.