Government say state pension age is rising too slowly

Posted on September 12th, 2011 | Categories - News

Iain Duncan Smith has said that the government believes the state pension age is rising too slowly.

In an interview with the BBC, Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said, “We’ve always said that the timescale left by the last government was too slow.”

The state pension age is currently set to rise to 67 by 2036 and to 68 by 2046 and whilst it has been stressed that a final decision has not yet been reached, it is clear that the government are considering other options.

Mr Duncan Smith continued, “The [last] government left us with a deadline in the 2030s and we think that’s too late because people’s age levels have increased even since they made that announcement.”

“People are living longer but they’re still retiring at the same age, so the purpose now is to look at that, and we’re reviewing that to see what might be reasonable, but always giving them good warning about what happens.”

Lack of preparation time

There has been criticism that women in particular have had too little time to prepare for the change in state pension age. The coalition government have previously announced that the state pension age for women will rise to 65 in 2018 and 66 in 2020.

On top of these changes and those announced by the previous administration the government has been conducting a consultation during the summer to see if further steps need to be taken.

The Observer newspaper has reported a source who said the most likely outcome would be for the state pension age to be raised to 67 by 2026, some 10 years earlier than had been planned.

Pensions minister, Steve Webb told the Observer newspaper:  “Everybody knows we are living longer. It is like an express train.” He continued, “I am even more convinced now than I was a year ago that we are running to stand still on all this stuff.”