MPs warn poorest won’t ever get state pension if we have to work until we are 70

Picture Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Picture Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Continued protection for pensions could mean poor people with low life expectancies may never collect their state pension.

A cross-party committee of MPs wants the government to scrap the 'triple lock' as it would require the state pension age to rise to 70 to make it sustainable. This is more than the average life expectancy in more deprived areas of the UK, like Blackpool and Salford.

The triple lock 'uprates' the State Pension annually by the highest of price inflation, average earnings growth or 2.5pc.

The committee instead wants to state pension to be a fixed proportion of average earnings.

The MPs warn people with low life expectancies, who may have been disadvantaged in their early years and working lives, would be further disadvantaged in their later years if the policy continues and the state pension age has to rise.

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Life expectancy in Norfolk is 80.2 years, Suffolk 80.7 years, Essex 80.2 years and Cambridgeshire 80.9 years according to the most recent Office for National Statistics figures. Although it is lower in Ipswich and Great Yarmouth where the most recent life expectancy figures are 78.8 and 78.2 respectively. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) estimates the state pension age would need to be 70.5 years by 2060, meaning today's young would face working lives of over 50 years before receiving a state pension.

Frank Field, chairman of the committee, said: 'With the triple lock in place the only way State Pension expenditure can be made sustainable is to keep raising the State Pension age. This has the effect of excluding ever more people from the State Pension altogether. Such people will disproportionately be from more deprived areas and manual occupations, while those benefitting most will be the relatively prosperous.

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'By 2020 the State Pension will be at a level where it will provide a decent minimum income for people in retirement to underpin private saving, and any savings they have will be kept on top of, not clawed back from, the State Pension. The triple lock will have done its job and it will be time therefore to retire it.'

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