Govt brings forward increase in state pension age

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'That is why I am today announcing the Government's intention to implement the key recommendation of the Cridland review and increase the state pension age from 67 to 68 over two years from 2037.

As a result this change will hit everyone born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978.

Legislators must approve the change before it becomes law. The current national insurance system makes no allowance for people who will not live long enough to reach state pension age, or who will die soon afterwards.

Speaking to the House of Commons, David Gauke, work and pensions secretary revealed the new proposed timetable for the rise to 68 will be brought forward to 2039 from the previously stated 2046 following a recent review by the department of work and pensions.

Existing plans to raise the retirement age to 66 and 67 remained unchanged, he added.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon said that the new measures show future generations can not retire on state provision.

"The clear message is that anyone who wants more choice over how and when they retire can't rely exclusively on a state pension and should be reviewing their workplace or private pension provision".

The UK government now spends 5.2 per cent of GDP on the state pension.

In the US, the age to receive full social security benefits is set to rise gradually to 67.

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Latest projections show that the number of people over state pension age in the United Kingdom is expected to grow by a third from 12.4 million to 16.9 million between 2017 and 2042.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams described Mr Gauke's announcement as "an astonishing continuation of austerity that means 34 million people will work longer than under Labour's plans".

Statistics show improvements in life expectancy may be levelling off, meaning this increase may be less justified on affordability grounds. A combination of increases in life expectancy, and the growing number of retirees relative to the working age population, means that individuals will have to save harder for their own retirement'.

'That's why Labour will leave the state pension age at 66, while we look again at the emerging evidence, with a view to guaranteeing a secure and healthy retirement for the many, not just the few'.

Gauke said the government was "aiming at the proportion of life spent in receipt of state pension to be 32%".

When the modern state pension was introduced in 1948, a 65-year-old could expect to live a 13-and-a-half years, or 23 per cent of their adult life.

And she said it would hit particularly hard in Scotland, which has lower life expectancy rates than the rest of the UK.

Graham Vidler, director of external affairs at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said: "This proposal will affect more than 7million people in their late 30s and 40s - the sandwich generation. Without this decision people of working age would have faced a heavy tax burden".