Pension age to be raised seven years early, says UK Government
State pension age a year further on for people currently in their late thirties and forties
David Gauke - credit Gareth Fuller/PA
The age in which people can claim their state pension in the UK is to rise to 68 from 2037, seven years earlier than previously announced, according to UK ministers.
This will affect people born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978.
The change was proposed by the Cridland report, and announced in the Commons by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke.
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"As life expectancy continues to rise and the number of people in receipt of state pension increases, we need to ensure that we have a fair and sustainable system that is reflective of modern life and protected for future generations," he said.
Labour criticised the move, pointing out many people in their 60s suffer from ill-health.
Improvements in medical science mean people are living longer but many live with multiple long-term conditions, often starting in the 60s.
The move comes after a report from University College London said life expectancy rates were more static after years of increases.
Health inequalities expert Sir Michael Marmot said the slowing of improvements in life expectancy was "historically highly unusual" and suggested austerity may be a factor.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said the announcement from the government was "astonishing".
"In bringing forward a rise in the state pension age by seven years, the government is picking the pockets of everyone in their late forties and younger, despite there being no objective case in Age UK's view to support it at this point in time," she said.
The Scottish Government has argued against raising the pension age beyond 66.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “We fundamentally disagree with the UK Government’s decision to raise the state pension age to 68 – this move will bring in changes seven years earlier than previously indicated, forcing millions of people to wait longer to access their entitlement.
"This is particularly worrying given some parts of Scotland have low life expectancy due to historic and deeply-ingrained public health challenges."
Gauke told SNP MPs the Scottish Government would have powers to provide extra financial help to those approaching retirement.
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