State pension age to increase?

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Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has confirmed the state pension age will increase to 67 earlier than planned.

The retirement age was due to rise to 67 in 2036 and to 68 by 2046 but Duncan Smith said the timescale, set out by the previous government, was ‘too slow’.

‘We’ve always said that the timescale left by the last government was too slow,’ he told the BBC.

‘The [last] government left us with a deadline in the 2030s and we think that’s too late because people’s age levels have increased even since they made that announcement.

‘People are living longer but they’re still retiring at the same age, so the purpose now is too look at that, and we’re reviewing that to see what might be reasonable, but always giving them good warning about what happens.’

Despite plans to speed up the increase in the retirement age, women may be given longer to prepare for the increase in their pension age to 65, due to happen in 2018, and another rise in 2020 to 66. Many, including independent pensions expert Ros Altmann, have argued the quick increase in women’s pension age to 66 is unfair.

She said: ‘Bringing forward the increase to 67 by 2026 will however allow the government to undo its terribly unfair plans that were hastily announced in the Pensions Bill. Having promised in the coalition agreement that it would not increase state pension age beyond age 65 before 2020, it went back on that promise and announced increases for some women in their late fifties and they have not had enough time to prepare.

‘They have written to me in despair as to how they can manage at such short notice to prepare for a two year delay in their pension, having already accepted a four year rise in the 1995 changes.’

The government has been holding a consultation over the summer into reform of state pensions.

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