State pension age ‘should be moved to 75’ as ‘people can work longer’

Pensioner discusses frozen pensions policy in 2021

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The state pension is a topic which has produced heated debate over the last year. After Covid severely impacted the economy, it was announced last year that the state pension would only rise by 3.1 percent despite inflation forecasts suggesting this would lead to a real terms cut. This isn’t the only issue regarding pensions that has caused concern in recent years. The age at which people should be able to access their state pension is another thing experts have debated in recent years.

In 2019, a right-wing think tank said the Government should move the age at which you can access your state pension to 75 – it is currently 66.

They proposed that it should reach this level by 2035, arguing that older people staying in work could come with health benefits.

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), founded by Tory MP Iain Duncan-Smith, proposed an increase of the pension age to 70 by 2028 and 75 by 2035.

Their report warned that the UK was “not responding to the needs and potential” of the workforce getting older and older.

It added that thousands of people aged 50 to 64 are “economically inactive”.

The analysts suggested that the Government should help older people “access the benefits of work” by giving support to them and employers, including training opportunities and flexible hours.

It added: “Removing barriers for older people to remain in work has the potential to contribute greatly to the health of individuals and the affordability of public services.

“Therefore, this paper argues for significant improvements in the support for older workers.

“This includes improved healthcare support, increased access to flexible working, better opportunities for training, an employer-led mid-life MOT and the implementation of an ‘Age Confident’ scheme.

“As we prepare for the future, we must prioritise increasing the opportunity to work for this demographic to reduce involuntary worklessness.”

CSJ chief executive Andy Cook added: “Right now, we are not doing enough to help older people stay in work and the state pension age doesn’t even closely reflect healthy working life expectancy.

“By increasing the state pension age, we can help people stay in gainful and life-enhancing employment while also making a sound long-term financial decision.”

This suggestion infuriated Baroness Ros Altmann, who used to be a pensions minister.

She said at the time: “Reports of state pension age rising to 75 are shocking.

“Major changes in pension attitudes required due to big life expectancy differentials. Using age as a strict cut off is not good policy.”

While those on the state pension have endured a tough year, 2023 should be easier as they will receive a 10 percent boost next April.

This will be welcomed by Britons, but reports this week show that anger amongst pensioners in the UK may not be completely quashed.

That’s because the Treasury has been accused of pocketing £5billion from state pension age increases.

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Critics say this money could have been used to support those older people who have struggled to meet their basic needs.

Sir Steve Webb, a former pensions minister, told the Telegraph last week: “There is a complete cliff edge between working age benefits and pensioner ones.

“If you are on universal credit you get £80 a week but those on pension credit get £170 a week. Those who are unemployed or in ill health will suddenly have to live on less money for another year.”

The Government still plans to raise the state pension age a further two times – a rise t0 67 in 2028 and a rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046.

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