Ministers are facing calls to “be honest with the public” about a potential rise in the state pension age.
The state pension age for both men and women is currently 66, and between 2026 and 2028 it will rise to 67. Speculation is growing that chancellor Jeremy Hunt will announce a state pension age increase to 68 by 2035 in March’s Budget.
Should the government do this, “workers who are now in their mid-50s could expect to wait an extra year before receiving their pensions,” said deVere Group chief executive and founder Nigel Green.
“The Treasury urgently needs to find money to plug the massive hole in public finances and, by increasing the pension age, it would raise tens of billions of pounds,” he continued. “We think it is almost inevitable that this is what will happen. This scenario underscores that the government now needs to come clean with the public.”
The call comes as investment platform AJ Bell published an analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data. It indicates that average life expectancy improvements – the main justification for state pension age increases – have reversed since the pandemic.
In 2014, the ONS thought that the average life expectancy for a 67-year-old man would be 21.1 years by 2028, while for a woman of the same age it was expected to be 23.1 years. The new ONS data suggests that, by 2028, that will fall to 18.7 years for men and 20.8 years for women.