David Gauke: raising state pension in line with longevity 'benefits everyone'

Posted July 20, 2017

The government is to back Cridland Review proposals to raise the state pension age to 68 by 2039, a full seven years earlier than planned.

Labour said the change - in line with the recommendations of this year's Cridland Report - would mean 34 million people working longer than they would under its plan to hold the retirement age at 66. A combination of increases in life expectancy, and the growing number of retirees relative to the working age population, means that individuals will have to save harder for their own retirement'. "Keeping the state pension age at 66 would cost over £250 billion (€282 billion) more than the government's preferred timetable by 2045/46".

"Since 1948 the State Pension has been an important part of society, providing financial security to all in later life".

The government said there is a balance to be struck between funding pensions while also ensuring fairness for taxpayers in the coming years. He added: "It's ironic that the government is proceeding with an accelerated increase in the state pension age days after statistics show improvements in life expectancy may be levelling off, meaning this increase may be less justified on affordability grounds".

The agency says the number of people over state pension age is expected to grow by a third between 2017 and 2042, from 12.4m in 2017 to 16.9m in 2042.

However, Labour and charities were quick to condemn the plans, with the shadow work and pensions secretary, Debbie Abrahams, describing them as "anything but fair", and arguing that many pensioners faced a "toxic cocktail" of ill-health long before they reached 68.

Latest projections from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of people over State Pension age in the United Kingdom is expected to grow by a third between 2017 and 2042, from 12.4m in 2017 to 16.9m in 2042.

The median life expectancy for a male in the United Kingdom is 86, and 89 for a female. The Tories said they would replace it with a double lock in 2020, scrapping the 2.5 percent provision.

"The government simply had to grasp the nettle on state pension reform".

The Pensions Act 2014 introduced a regular and structured method for considering future changes to the state pension age in light of changes in life expectancy.

It's understandable for us to base our expectations of life in retirement on the experiences of the older people we know, particularly our parents and grandparents, but this is likely to give an overly pessimistic impression.

Finally, the current state pension system offers no help for social care.

"The Government is cynically making workers pay for their failed economic policy".

Speaking to the House of Commons, David Gauke, work and pensions secretary revealed the new proposed timetable for the rise to 68 will be brought forward to 2039 from the previously stated 2046 following a recent review by the department of work and pensions.