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The report claims the state’s retirement age should remain 66 for more decades


State pension age must stay at 66 for more decades as life expectancy stalls: Calls to scrap planned increase to 67 in five years after data shows people don’t live long

  • The government retirement age is set to rise to 67 within five years
  • Review will consider introducing plans to force workers to wait until 68
  • Analyzes indicate that the state pension age should remain stable at 66 for another decade
  • This is because life expectancy has not improved as expected










A new report suggests that delayed life expectancy means ministers must abandon plans to raise the state retirement age for 20 million workers.

The state retirement age is set to rise to 67 within five years – and the government announced last week a review that will look into introducing plans to force millions of workers to wait until age 68 to retire.

But the new analysis published today suggests that the state retirement age should remain steady at 66 for decades longer because life expectancy has not improved as expected.

It could mean that millions of workers close to retirement could collect their state pensions a year earlier than expected – but it would cost the Treasury nearly £200bn.

The age at which someone can start collecting their state pension, which is currently worth £9,339 a year, is set to rise from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

Repealing the current legislation would be a retirement delay for millions born in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s (file photo)

It is set to rise again to 68 between 2044 and 2046 – although ministers want to bring that forward by seven years to between 2037 and 2039.

But pension consultancy Lynn Clark & ​​Peacock (LCP) said the expectations for longer-lived residents had not been met even before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company’s analysis shows that if the government sticks to its policy of linking government retirement age to life expectancy, the increase to 67 should be delayed by 23 years to 2051.

This is because the government expects retirement to last no more than a third of the average life span.

The study also suggests that raising the state retirement age to 68 should be delayed until the mid-1960s.

Repealing the current legislation would be a retirement delay for millions born in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s.

In 2014, the Office for National Statistics predicted that a 66-year-old woman could expect to live to 89. But by 2018, that forecast had been lowered to 87.

Former Pensions Minister Sir Steve Webb, now a partner at LCP, said: “Government plans for rapid increases in the government’s pension age have been spoiled by this new analysis.

Even before the pandemic hit, the improvements in life expectancy that we’ve seen over the past century have all but stopped.

Former Pensions Minister Sir Steve Webb, now a partner at LCP, said 'Government plans for rapid increases in the state pension age have been spoiled by this new analysis'.

Former Pensions Minister Sir Steve Webb, now a partner at LCP, said ‘Government plans for rapid increases in the state pension age have been spoiled by this new analysis’.

But the timetable for increasing the state retirement age has not caught up with this new world.

This analysis shows that current plans to increase the state retirement age to 67 by 2028 need to be reviewed urgently.

Only the state pension age was raised to 66 last year. It came after nearly 4 million women born in the 1950s missed out on nearly £50,000 after raising the state retirement age from 60 to 65, in line with men.

Forcing workers to wait longer to retire may penalize those in poorer areas who have lower life expectancy, said Rebecca O’Connor, head of pensions and savings at Interactive Investor.

She said: “Life expectancy is no longer rising. All the assumptions that these measures are based are based on the need to review. We need to acknowledge that often people cannot continue to work until government retirement age.

“Given what we’ve been through with the pandemic, now is the time to review exactly what we associate with age benefits, and where that leaves people behind.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Work and Pensions said: ‘The state pension continues to provide the basis for retirement planning and financial security in old age.

“The review will consider whether rules regarding state pension age are appropriate, based on a wide range of evidence including the most recent life expectancy data.”

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