The Work and Pensions Secretary, Mel Stride, recently addressed Parliament, announcing that the state pension age will not be raised to 68 until sometime between 2041 and 2043.
The recommended increase from 66 to 67 will occur between 2026 and 2028, as per the findings of a review of the state pension age.
Stride emphasised that the legislation, which has been in place since 2014, will continue to provide certainty for those planning their retirement.
The report further suggested that the rise from 67 to 68 should be implemented four years later than initially proposed in the 2017 review.
Stride acknowledged that external factors such as the conflict in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic might have impacted life expectancy but cautioned against making hasty decisions based on incomplete data.
Recognising these determinations’ significance on millions’ lives, Stride expressed the need to wait until more accurate information becomes available.
Consequently, he announced plans for an additional review to be conducted within two years of the next Parliament.
“The current rules for the rise from 67 to 68, therefore, remain appropriate, and the government does not intend to amend the existing legislation prior to the conclusion of the next review,” said Stride.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to providing a 10-year notice period for any changes to the state pension age, ensuring sufficient time for individuals to plan for their retirement.
Stride also confirmed the government’s support for the triple lock system concerning pensions.
The triple lock guarantees that state pensions increase annually by the highest of average earnings, inflation, or 2.5 per cent.
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, highlighted the significance of both issues, stating that the more generous the pension increases, the greater the pressure to accelerate the rise in the state pension age.
However, adapting the triple lock to avoid inflation-busting increases could potentially alleviate the need for swift adjustments to the pension age.
Cameron emphasised the importance of political parties addressing these critical concerns in their Election Manifestos, as they greatly impact both the voting public, encompassing individuals of retirement age and working age.
These decisions carry substantial implications for the affordability and future of the state pension, necessitating careful consideration and planning.