Minister Ready To Tinker With State Pension Age Again

Workers could be forgiven for suspecting the goalposts keep moving back when they check on their state pension age.

That’s the birthday when they should start receiving state pension payments.

After an upset about shifting the retirement age for women born in the mid-1950s to 66 years old, a review by the government actuary’s department (GAD) favours moving the dates yet again because people are living longer and the state is spending more money than planned on pensions.

The pension age is already scheduled to rise over the next few years:

  • Everyone will receive the state pension from their 65th birthday from November 17, 2017
  • By 2020, the trigger date rises to 66
  • Then by 2028, the start date is 67, moving to 68 by 2046

Now, the latest government statistics suggest the age will reach 70 by 2056 as people are healthier and living longer.

Minister mulls decision

But ministers are mulling bringing the state retirement date forward by 16 years

for millions of workers.

That means anyone retiring from 2030 may have to reach the 68th birthday before they receive the state pension.

The GAD report is before Department of Work and Pensions secretary Damian Green, who is expected to make the controversial decision in May. If he scraps the state pension timetable in favour of a shorter schedule, he will dash the retirement hopes of millions of workers who have set their 67th birthday as the day they give up work.

The government says no changes will be made before 2028, and that future retirees will have at least a decade’s notice of any alterations to the schedule.

State pension headache

“The government is committed to maintaining a state pension that is far for all generations and helps to provide for the cost of living in retirement,” said a spokesman.

The latest longevity statistics show men retiring in their 60s today will live until they are on average 79 years old, while women will live to 82.

The problem for the government is the state pension is mainly funded from national insurance contributions, and many workers now spend more time retired than they did paying into the system, leaving the Treasury with a deficit.

The state pension is tied into longevity, with future retirement ages rising in line with how long people live and payments to women matching those received by men.

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