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State pension age increase from 67 to 68 brought forward

The increase in the state pension age from 67 to 68 will be brought forward, the Government has announced.


It will now take effect from 2037, seven years earlier than previously planned, Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke revealed in the Commons.

The changes, which will be brought in over two years, will affect everyone born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978.

Mr Gauke said the Government has a "responsibility to find a balance between funding the state pension and being fair on future generations of taxpayers.

But shadow pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams condemned the announcement, saying it was "anything but fair" on pensioners.

Between 2017 and 2042 the number of people over state pension age is expected to grow by a third, from 12.4 million this year to 16.9 million in 2042.

Mr Gauke told MPs: "As the Cridland Review makes clear, the increases in life expectancy are to be celebrated, and I want to make clear that even the timetable for the rise that I'm announcing today, future pensioners can still expect on average more than 22 years in receipt of the state pension.

"But increasing longevity also presents challenges to the Government.

"There is a balance to be struck between funding of the state pension in years to come whilst also ensuring fairness for future generations of taxpayers."

 


The changes would save £74bn by 2045/46 compared with the previous proposals, he told the Commons.

Ms Abrahams condemned what she called the Government's "slash and burn" policies on social security, which she said would hit older people, in particular those facing health problems in their later years.

She said: "Most pensioners will now spend their retirement battling a toxic cocktail of ill health, with men expected to drift into ill health at 63 - five years earlier than this proposed quickened state pension age of 68 - while women expect to see signs of ill health at 64."

Ms Abrahams added: "The Government talks about making Britain fairer but their pensions policy, whether it's about the injustice our 1950s-born women are facing or today's proposal to increase the SPA to 68, is anything but fair."

Mr Gauke said Labour's call to fix the state pension age was "reckless, short-sighted and irresponsible" given Britain's ageing population. adding £250bn to the national debt.

He said: "When the evidence in front of us shows that life expectancy will continue to increase a little over one year every eight years that pass, fixing the state pension age at 66, as advocated by the party opposite, demonstrates a complete failure to appreciate the situation in front of us."