Pensioners stuck ‘in limbo’ as future of state pension age uncertain

Millions of Britons are facing retirement-limbo because of government dithering over hiking the state pension age to 67, campaigners have warned. They are urging ministers to hit pause on the plans – earmarked to happen within the next five years – because it doesn’t give people time to prepare.

For both men and women, the UK state pension age is currently 66. But legislation states this will gradually rise to 67 for those born on or after April 5, 1960 between 2026 and 2028.

There will also be a gradual rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 5, 1977.

Ministers last week shelved plans to bring forward the increase to 68 and campaigners say the same must happen for the increase to 67 because those people affected have not been given enough time to prepare.

They point to last week’s review by Baroness Neville-Rolfe which noted that “personal notifications” have not been sent to the people affected by the changes even though they were set out in the Pensions Act 2014.

Dennis Reed, Director of over 60s campaign group Silver Voices, said people should be given at least 10 years notice of changes to their state pension age.

He said millions of people could be affected by the changes and warned the situation mirrors the lack of notice given to the WASPI women born in the 1950s.

In that case the Parliamentary Ombudsman eventually agreed they were given insufficient notice of the rise in their state pension ages to 66, amounting to maladministration.

Mr Reed said: “The rise in the state pension age to 67 must now be postponed.

“The Report acknowledges that the only grounds for continuing with this rise are economic, and that there is no case based on life expectancy alone.

“And now we find that with only three years to go, no personal notice has been given by the DWP to the millions of middle-aged people affected.

“This is a clear dereliction of duty by DWP ministers and their civil servants and if they persist with this unjustified rise in the SPA, they may expect similar protests as from the WASPI women from those adversely affected, including possible legal action.

“Millions will have to jettison long-prepared retirement plans and beg their employers to keep them on for a further year, or try to survive on benefits.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “We are committed to communicating planned and future State Pension age changes effectively. There has been extensive activity on this already, including multi-channel campaigns raising awareness of State Pension age alongside other pension reforms, and we have written directly to those who have a State Pension age between 66 and 67, and would reach State Pension age between 2026 and 2028.”

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