Pension shake-up could mean people have to retire later

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey.

Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey. - Credit: PA

People born in the 1970s could have to wait longer before they can retire.

The Department for Work and Pensions announced a further review of the state pension age on Tuesday - and it could mean the increase in the state retirement age to 68 could be brought forward by seven years.

The state pension age is currently 66 and two further increases are  set out in legislation - a graded rise to 67 for those born on or after April 1960 and a rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 1977.

But the latest review will consider whether the increase to age 68 should be brought forward to 2037 to 2039.

The review will decide whether to give the go-ahead for that move, first outlined in 2017.

Led by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the review will look at the implications of life expectancy data, the costs of an ageing population, labour market changes and people's ability and opportunities to work beyond state pension age.

It could mean people in deprived areas get their state pensions earlier, due to lower life expectancy.

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Life expectancy in Norwich is 78 for men and 82.8 for women - and Great Yarmouth is similar at 78.3 for men and 82.8 for women.

In contrast, life expectancy in South Norfolk is 81.7 for men and 84.8 for women, while in Broadland it is 81.4 for men and 85 for women.

Work and pensions secretary Dr Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, said: "As the number of people over state pension age increases, due to a growing population and people on average living longer, we need to make sure that our decisions on how to manage the costs of state pension provide fairness to both taxpayers and pensioners and that it continues to provide the foundation for retirement planning and financial security."

Journalist Adam Aiken

Adam Aiken - Credit: Archant

Adam Aiken, Norfolk-based finance journalist, said, with people living longer, the government had little choice but to make changes.

He said: "Of course, this sort of change is always going to be disappointing to people who could suddenly see the goalposts moved.

"But if it happens, it won't be happening tomorrow, so there is time to plan for it.

"It's a good opportunity to take stock of pensions - to look at your retirement options."

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