Another seven years lopped off state pension age rise to 68
WORKERS in their 40s will have to work an extra year to qualify for their state pension under new rules announced by Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke yesterday.
Changes to pensionable age will be accelerated by seven years, hitting 68 between 2037 and 2039, Mr Gauke said — affecting around 34 million people born between April 6 1970 and April 5 1978.
Mr Gauke told MPs that the government was accepting a recommendation made by the Cridland review earlier this year, on the basis that it would save the Treasury £74 billion by 2046.
The state pension age was previously due to increase to 68 between 2044 and 2046.
Shadow pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said the decision would be detrimental to people facing health problems years before they retire.
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 also mentioned the Women Against State Pension Age Increases (Waspi) group, who have campaigned against the pension injustice inflicted on women born in the 1950s.
Waspi communications director Jane Cowley said: “Successive governments failed to adequately inform women about state pension age changes, when they should have had 14 years to plan for their retirement.
“Some women had less than one year to prepare for a sixyear change in the pension age.
“The minister’s statement that they will determine communications of these changes nearer the time is particularly concerning. The government cannot afford to get this wrong and must ensure that people have adequate warning.”
Charity Age UK accused the government of “picking the pockets” of millions of workers. And Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said the announcement amounted to forcing workers to pay for a failed economic policy.
She said: “This is a kick in the teeth for millions of workers, who now face working up to a year longer before they receive their state pension.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said hiking the state pension age “risks creating second-class citizens” unless more is done to help older people stay in work that is suitable for them by making workplaces and patterns adapt to them.