Hutton: the "unsustainable burden" of retiring at 65

24 November 2006
Work and pensions secretary John Hutton will speak to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on pensions reform today, fleshing out the proposals made in the Queen's Speech.

Raising the retirement age to 68 is essential if Britons hope to avoid an "unsustainable burden on our children and grandchildren", and an immediate income tax rise.

"Those who would oppose the increase must do so in the full knowledge of the predicted consequences," he will warn.

"They are in effect arguing for more than a 4p rise in the basic rate of income tax to pay for a population spending more and more of their lives in retirement."

Mr Hutton's audience may need convincing – the ABI has just released a study showing that 44 per cent of adults believe it is unlikely the National Pensions Saving Scheme will launch successfully.

Personal finance campaigner Doug Taylor of consumer group Which? has, however, condemned pensions industry insiders for "trying to undermine a government scheme to protect the interests of the ten million people who currently have no provision for their retirement".

Mr Taylor told the Guardian the ABI's pessimism could only "feed a consumer confidence crisis" at a time when consensus is critical.

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