Rise in United Kingdom pension age brought forward by seven years

Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke accelerated by seven years the lift in the state pension age to 68

The UK will raise the age at which citizens can claim the state pension to 68, earlier than planned, as the government grapples with the mounting costs of an aging population.

The current state pension age is 65.

Mr Gauke said: "Combined with our pension reforms that are helping more people than ever save into a private pension and reducing pensioner poverty to a near record low, these changes will give people the certainty they need to plan ahead for retirement".

The agency says the number of people over state pension age is expected to grow by a third between 2017 and 2042, from 12.4m in 2017 to 16.9m in 2042. Sammy Wilson, the MP for East Antrim, said it was an "an inevitable outcome of increased life expectancy and improvements in the general health of the population".

'It's ironic that the government is proceeding with an accelerated increase in the state pension age days after statistics show improvements in life expectancy may be levelling off, meaning this increase may be less justified on affordability grounds'.

A separate report from the Government Actuary's Department, also out today, seems to point towards the state pension age rising to 70 for anyone now aged 30 or under. People born between 1970 and 1978 will see the pension age rise to 68 depending on their date of birth, and people born from April 1978 will get their pension when they reach 68.

Other issues concerning the state pension remain unresolved, however, and establishing a sustainable system for increasing the payment must be addressed sooner or later.

"The "universal" state pension age we now operate under means that retirement age applies equally to everyone".

If you live in Nottingham, for example, men are likely to suffer ill health from the age of 57 - a full 11 years earlier than this government's plan for a 68 pension age. In 2017, a 65-year-old can now expect to live for another 22.8 years, or 33.6 per cent of their adult life.

The announcement follows the recommendations made earlier in the year by John Cridland, a businessman who used to lead the CBI lobby group.

Shadow pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams condemned the Government's "slash and burn" policies on social security, which she said would hit older people, particularly those facing health problems in later life. The government has said it will monitor the results of these efforts to encourage employers to better accommodate older workers, including allowing them to move from more to less physical work.

'This is about the government taking responsible action in response to growing demographic and fiscal pressure, ' he said.

Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said because of this opposition from other parties it would be very hard for the government to secure the votes needed to make the change.

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