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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

UK state pension age could be raised to 70

The Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) has recommended that anyone aged 30 or younger should have their state pension age raised to 70, in a report published today.

News will be "particularly unwelcome for anyone in their early 40s" ©iStock
News will be "particularly unwelcome for anyone in their early 40s" ©iStock

In addition, people aged under 45 would have to wait to until they are at least 68 to receive their pension, according to suggestions in a separate report by John Cridland, also released today.

With pension expenditure being criticised recently for accounting for a disproportional share of national income, it has also been recommended that the triple lock system be scrapped.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of retirement policy, Tom McPhail, said: “This report is going to be particularly unwelcome for anyone in their early 40s, as they’re now likely to see their state pension age pushed back another year.

“For those in their 30s and younger, it reinforces the expectation of a state pension from age 70, which means an extra two years of work. This report also looks like the death-knell for the state pension triple lock.”

 “The good news, in as much as there is any here, is that these measures will help to keep the state pension sustainable in the long-term.”

To address the problems of an ageing society, and facilitate state provision of a benchmark retirement income, the Cridland report also suggests that a mid-life ‘MOT’ should be given to help people make decisions about future work.

It also proposes that individuals could defer drawing their pension, taking higher benefits later instead, vulnerable people in their 60s have a ‘pension credit’ benefit, and a new system be introduced to allow older people with caring responsibilities to have time off work.

Although it is thought that these recommendations could help extend working lives, it is argued that keeping people in work for longer is not sustainable and does not fully address the current strain on the system.

“The report suggests a few interesting ways of alleviating the problem, but does not recommend early access to the state pension,” Barnett Waddingham, senior consultant, Malcom McLean, said.

“This will come as a big disappointment to many. We surely cannot simply continue pushing back the state pension age ad infinitum and the point must come where a line has to be drawn somewhere.

“Longer lifespans overall do not necessarily equate to longer working life ability and we should accept that, for some people, a state pension age of 70 or beyond will mean they will not live long enough to draw their state pension – despite years of contributing to the system.

“It could be paid on an actuarially reduced basis and be available to all UK citizens without reference to where they live or in what profession they have worked.

“Early access to a state pension in the future from a minimum age, say 64 or 65 years needn’t be complicated, as some would have us believe.”

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