Leader: Pension age hikes must stop here

Those born between 1970 and 1978 will have to revise their retirement projections, after the age that they will qualify for a state pension was raised from 67 to 68.
Those born between 1970 and 1978 will have to revise their retirement projections, after the age that they will qualify for a state pension was raised from 67 to 68.
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News that the pensionable age is to be raised from 67 to 68 from 2037 came as a bolt from the blue.

We understand there is going to be a greater burden on government funds in the future as the population demographic changes, but the timing is unfortunate. Just this week a report from University College London stated that life expectancy has plateaued - we are no longer seeing the constant creep upwards.

Equally, life expectancy is a postcode lottery. Statistics from the National Records of Scotland published last year put life expectancy at 77.1 years for baby boys born north of the Border in the past three years, and 81.1 years for girls.

This was two years lower than the UK average for men, and 1.7 years lower than the female average. In Glasgow, meanwhile, some estimates have put the average age people will die at just 71 and a half.

With this in mind, any plans to raise the pension age to 69 or 70 should be put on hold until it can be proved that life expectancy is continuing to rise beyond its current level. Otherwise, a further push just appears to be an unnecessary extra take from the public.