The UK Government is due to publish a review into the state pension age in May this year, according to the House of Commons library. The age at which Britons can claim their state pension benefits currently stands at 66 years old for both men and women. This could be set to increase to 68 sooner than expected, a move rejected by 84 percent of Express.co.uk readers in a new poll.
The state pension age is reviewed every six years under the Pensions Act 2014 to ensure no-one spends more than a third of their adult life in retirement according to life expectancy.
An increase to 67 is taking place between 2026 and 2028 wih an additional rise to 68 planned between 2044 and 2046 but this could be brought forward between 2037 and 2039.
Work and Pensions Secretary, Mel Stride, said that an earlier rise could be justified due to the “pretty hairy” state of public finances.
Gary Smith, financial planning director Evelyn Partners, commented that the move could save the Treasury about £10billion. He added that announcing an increase at the Spring Budget would show it was “taking hard decisions to improve the public finances”.
And Caroline Abrahams, Age UK charity director, claimed the “uncertainty over future life expectancy” was “no justification for bringing forward increases in state pension age”.
She explained: “Raising the state pension age for future retirees might make the public finances look better in the longer term, but the cost would fall disproportionately on financially squeezed middle-aged men and women, who need a helping hand and some hope for the future, not having their pockets picked by the Exchequer.”
READ MORE: Life expectancy gap grows – what it might mean for state pension age
In a poll that ran from 11am on Tuesday, January 10, to 11.30am on Friday, January 13, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Do you support plans to raise state pension age to 68?”
Overall, 3,771 votes were cast with the vast majority, 84 percent (3,181 people) answering “no” they do not support an increase in the state pension age.
Whereas 15 percent (575 people) said “yes” they did, and a further 15 people said they did not know either way.
Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on the state pension age.
However, other readers were in support of the increase, with many citing longer life expectancy in their comments. Username Mrfriendly said: “Yes, people are living longer.”
And username Norfolk Boy said: “Life expectancy has increased…I’m surprised that the state pension age hasn’t risen faster.”
Meanwhile, username TheOpinion thought it should be introduced sooner writing: “Bring it in in 2025.”
Username Walesdad said: “Better still, do away with the state pension altogether.”
The basic state pension currently stands at £141.85 per week while the full state pension is £185.15 per week. The amount received is dependent on your national insurance record.
In April this year, the state pension will increase by 10.1 percent, in line with inflation from September, under the triple-lock guarantee. This means the basic rate will increase to £156.18 and the full rate will rise to £203.85.
The triple lock ensures that the state pension increases by the highest of average wage growth, 2.5 percent, inflation, and consumer price inflation. It was suspended in 2021 due to the pandemic but Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed it would not be shelved for a second year during his Autumn Statement in November.
He said: “The cost of living crisis is harming all pensioners so because we have taken difficult decisions elsewhere in this statement, I can today announce that we will fulfil our pledge to the country to protect the pensions triple-lock.”