Our rising State Pension age

In the run up to the 8 June 2017 general election, all major political parties agreed – at least to some extent – that the State Pension age should rise above the age of 65[1]. Now we’re on the other side of the general election we will watch with interest to see which next steps are taken, and when.


Source: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/datasets/2englishlifetables The above shows official reported “period” life expectancy for England and Wales – i.e. based on mortality data in the year of birth in England and Wales, with no estimation given to possible future improvements in life expectancy. The alternative measurement of “cohort” life expectancy is likely to show higher levels of projected life expectancy, by taking into account estimated future improvements in mortality.


As a quick history lesson, the first State Pension age was introduced in 1908 alongside the then Old Age Pension[2]. This pension was five shillings a week; it was means tested; and it was available to people over the age of 70. At that time, life expectancy at birth was about 50[3].


The long-standing State Pension ages of 60 for women and 65 for men were then introduced in the 1940s[4], at a time when life expectancy was about 70[5].


Today, the State Pension age is set to reach 65 for men and women in 2018 at a time when life expectancy at birth is about 80[6]. The State Pension age will then rise to 66 by 2020[7]. Between 2026 and 2028, the state pension age will rise further to age 67. The next steps are less clear.


Prior to the general election, the then government commissioned The Cridland Review[8], an independent report into the future of the State Pension age. It was asked to consider a future State Pension age that was affordable, fair and consistent with a fuller working life. It proposed an acceleration towards a state pension age of 68 by the late 2030s[9]. The then government was scheduled to respond to this proposal in May this year, but the general election got in the way. We will now wait to see if the Cridland Review still carries weight under this new government.


Regardless, the State Pension will be a core source of income in retirement for many. Our article The new single state pension covers this important topic in more detail.


How much State Pension could you get?


The State Pension can be complicated. To help you plan for your retirement, with a solid understanding of what you may be entitled to from the state, and when, it makes good sense to request a State Pension forecast. You can Check your State Pension free of charge on the government’s gov.uk website.







[1] http://www.pensionspolicyinstitute.org.uk/briefing-notes/briefing-note-97---general-election-2017-state-pension-age-rises


[2] http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN04817


[3] http://visual.ons.gov.uk/how-has-life-expectancy-changed-over-time/


[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/special-reports/11523196/A-turbulent-history-of-British-pensions-since-1874.html


[5] http://visual.ons.gov.uk/how-has-life-expectancy-changed-over-time/


[6] http://visual.ons.gov.uk/how-has-life-expectancy-changed-over-time/


[7] http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-1679780/New-state-pension-age-retire.html


[8] http://qna.files.parliament.uk/ws-attachments/456278/original/ToR%20-%20SPa%20Independent%20Review.pdf


[9] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/611460/independent-review-of-the-state-pension-age-smoothing-the-transition.pdf


WC04344 06/2017

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