State pension age could rise to 69

The state pension age could rise to 69 by the 2040s, it has been announced.

In his Autumn Statement today, Chancellor George Osborne announced that as well as the potential for a lower age limit of 69, the existing plans to raise the state pension age from 65 to 68 will now be brought forward to the mid-2030s – a decade earlier than the date originally proposed, which was 2046. The move is projected to save the taxpayer about £500bn over the next 50 years.

The change means that, potentially, people who are in their teens and twenties today could face working into their seventies before they become eligible for state benefits.

Private pension age to remain 55

Osborne pointed out that the basic state pension age to remain 55ate pension will be excluded from the overall welfare spending cuts, and also that no changes are being made to the minimum age – currently fifty five – at which people can access their private pension pots.

Not all bad news

Pensions consultant and former Director General of Saga, Ros Altmann, suggested that the potential move to a state pension age of 69 was not as bad as it might sound. “Rising state pension age should not be considered a penalty on the young,” she explains. “It is an opportunity to embrace the benefits of all the advances in medical and work practices which are enabling most of us to have a longer, fitter working life.

Altmann sees the raising of the state pension age as a positive, a symptom of increased life expectancy and disease prevention. “Later retirement is realistic response to the great news that people are living longer, healthier lives”, she says, adding that “retirement is not all it is cracked up to be.”

However, not everyone agrees – and many of today’s younger workers will be unhappy at the news that they may need to keep working until they are nearly 70. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady summed up some of this sentiment when he said that the move meant the younger workers of today would have to “work until they drop.”

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Written by Editorial Team ,
5th December 2013