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'People won't have a retirement' - campaigner slams proposed increase in state pension age

PUBLISHED: 16:17 19 August 2019

Norfolk Broads-PAIN led protests in London on June 6 against pension age changes. Picture: Norfolk Broads-PAIN.

Norfolk Broads-PAIN led protests in London on June 6 against pension age changes. Picture: Norfolk Broads-PAIN.

Archant

The co-founder of a Norfolk women's pensions protest group has criticised research calling for a rise in the state pension age to 75 as "upsetting" and unrealistic.

Research published by the Tory think-tank, the Centre for Social Justice, has proposed an increase in the state pension age to 75.

But the recommendation, which - if adopted - would come into force by 2035, has been described as worrying by Lynn Nicholls, leader of the Norfolk Broads PAIN (Pension Action in Norfolk) group.

"I just think people aren't going to have a retirement in the future if they go ahead with it," said Mrs Nicholls, from Thetford.

The PAIN group campaigns around the change to the women's state pension age from 60 to 66.

Norfolk Broads PAIN group leaders, pictured from left, Lynn Nicholls, Annette James, and Lorraine White. Photo: ArchantNorfolk Broads PAIN group leaders, pictured from left, Lynn Nicholls, Annette James, and Lorraine White. Photo: Archant

She added: "It's bad enough that has gone up to 66. I don't know what their thinking is behind it."

The report, published in August 2019 by the Conservative research organisation founded by former Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) minister Iain Duncan-Smith, concluded: "While this might seem contrary to a long-standing compassionate attitude to an older generation that have paid their way in the world and deserve to be looked after, we do not believe it should be.

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"Working longer has the potential to improve health and wellbeing, increase retirement savings and ensure the full functioning of public services."

Life expectancy figures for people in Norfolk, published in April 2019, show an average of 80 years for men and 84 for women.

And Mrs Nicholls hit back at claims the rise could be beneficial to older people, and said: "We know a lot of our members are struggling to carry on working for an extra five or six years.

"There may be people who like working when they're older but the majority of people have had enough - they've done their time."

The 65-year-old former Tesco employee added: "In a lot of physical jobs I don't think you would be able to carry on [but] even in an office you still get mentally tired.

"They just want you to carry on working and there won't be a retirement in years to come.

"I'm quite upset about it - we're now fighting for our children and grand children.

"I don't want them having to work until that age.

"I hope people do plan but it's hard when your young, and saving for a house or raising a family, to plan for retirement, but that's what they will need to do."

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