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Extending state pension age sooner would be 'nonsensical'

11 September 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent

Extending the state pension age sooner than planned would be 'nonsensical', Age Concern and Help the Aged have claimed.

The statement comes after the Pensions Policy Institute published a piece of research that suggests extending the state pension age sooner could be a way to reduce state spending.

The state pension age currently stands at 60 for women and 65 for men, although this will be increased to 65 for women from next year. However, as life expectancies continue to rise, it is planned that the state pension age will increase gradually over time, rising to 66 between 2024 and 2026, then to 67 between 2034 and 2036, before reaching 68 between 2044 and 2046.

Nevertheless, The Pensions Policy Institute has suggested that the state pension age increase be moved forward in attempt to reduce the financial burden that increasing life expectancies and inadequate pension provisions will have on the state.

But bringing the increase forward could have serious implications, Help the Aged and Age Concern argue head of public policy for Age Concern and Help the Aged, Andrew Harrop said:

"The gradual increase in state pension age was agreed after a lengthy consultation giving people enough warning about the changes to plan and save for their retirement.

"Bringing changes to the age limit forward without sufficient lead time could have serious implications for those already approaching the age when they expected to be able to claim their state pension."

And, as the Default Retirement Age remains at 65, Mr Harrop adds: "It would be completely nonsensical to expect people to work for longer as the Default Retirement Age means employers can force workers out of a job at 65."

Calling for the Default Retirement Age to be scrapped he said: "The 2010 review is too late for people who need to continue working now; this outmoded law must be scrapped immediately."

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