New call to means test state pension age as Budget looms

State pension age increases could be accelerated, with the change to 68 coming in as early as 2035, according to reports, affecting those who are 54 and under today.

An expert has slammed the rise, calling for the state pension age to be reformed as it does not take into account individual situations.

Martin Hartley, UK managing director of emagine and member of the Bank of England Decision Maker Panel spoke exclusively to about alternative solutions Chancellor Jeremy Hunt could consider instead of increasing the state pension age universally.

He said: “The whole system needs to be reformed. It was created when the average lifespan was lower, and we are now living much longer and there isn’t a one size fits all.

“Of course, some people are more than capable of working into their older years, but you can’t expect every industry to do this.

“People doing hard physical labour every day cannot be expected to continue working until 68 years old, it’s simply not fair.

“Working in an office might be more realistic for older people but you then pose the risk of mental stress rather than physical.”

He urged the Government to look at introducing an assessment to see if a person’s occupation is fit for purpose.

Mr Harley continued: “We need to look at introducing an assessment to see if a person’s occupation is fit for purpose by looking at their general health, well-being and finances. Something needs to change.

“If people think their industry is being looked at differently and their wellbeing is considered, they will feel more valued, keeping people in the workplace for longer as their attitude is shifted.”

Currently, the state pension age in the UK is 66, but this is set to rise.

Government proposals state the retirement age will rise to 67 by 2028, and the next rise is not due until 2046.

However, this could be brought forward in the spring Budget as the Treasury looks to raise revenue.

Under the current plans to raise the state pension between 2044 and 2046, anyone born from April 6, 1978, and onwards would receive their state pension aged 68.

If the increase is brought forward to between 2035 and 2037, anyone born from April 6, 1969, and onwards would receive their state pension aged 68.

But if the Government brings the increase in retirement age forward more quickly, to between 2033 and 2035, anyone born from April 6, 1967, and onwards would have a state pension age of 68.

Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at the investment platform AJ Bell said: “Rishi Sunak will be playing with political fire if he decides to accelerate the planned increase in the state pension age to 68.

“From the Treasury’s perspective, bringing forward the planned increase could be a huge money spinner, likely raising tens of billions in revenue – funds that are desperately needed in the wake of the pandemic and the costly energy support package.”

Currently, the state pension is worth £185.15 per week and the full basic state pension is £141.85 per week.

The state pension is due to increase by 10.1 percent in line with inflation.

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson said: “No decision has been taken on changes to the state pension age.

“The Government is required by law to regularly review the state pension age and the second state pension age review is currently considering, based on a wide range of evidence including latest life expectancy data and two independent reports, whether the rules around state pension age remain appropriate.”

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