State pension age to rise faster than planned

The state pension age is set to rise faster than planned following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Although not entirely unexpected, the Chancellor confirmed that the state pension age will reach 67 in 2026. This had previously been scheduled for between 2034 and 2036, and is predicted to affect that eight million people aged under 52.

The announcement has been met with mixed reactions. Dr Ros Altman said: “As life expectancy is rising it is inevitable that the state pension age will increase. Pension ages everywhere are rising. Today’s announcement that Britain’s state pension age will increase to age 67 starting from 2026 is not far out of line with other nations. Around that time, the US, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Spain will all be increasing pension ages to 67 and Ireland’s pension age will be 68.”

While Age UK claims it will hit the disadvantaged hardest. Commenting, Michelle Mitchell, charity director for Age UK said: “The decision to speed up the timetable to increase the State Pension Age to 67 will come as a bitter blow to many people fast approaching retirement especially those in ill-health, caring for relatives and those out of work.

“Age UK recognises that as life expectancy increases it is reasonable to consider increases to State Pension age and longer working lives, however this decision has been based on no published detailed analysis. Average life expectancy must not be the only factor that is considered as at the moment the huge disparities in healthy life expectancy across the country means that the poorest socio-economic groups will be required to sacrifice proportionately more of their retirement. “

The Chancellor also announced that the state pension will rise by £5.30 to £107.45.