Ministers accused of ‘picking pockets’ with pension age change

The Government has been accused of "picking the pockets" of millions after announcing that anyone born between 1970 and 1978 will have to wait for an extra year before receiving their state pension. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
The Government has been accused of "picking the pockets" of millions after announcing that anyone born between 1970 and 1978 will have to wait for an extra year before receiving their state pension. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Share this article
0
Have your say

Workers born in the 1970s will have to work longer to get the state pension after the government announced it was bringing forward a planned rise in the pension age by seven years.

Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke made the surprise announcement to MPs that the state pension age will rise from 67 to 68 from 2037 in order to save £74 billion over the next thirty years.

Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke announces in the House of Commons, London that the state pension age will rise from 67 to 68 from 2037.

Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke announces in the House of Commons, London that the state pension age will rise from 67 to 68 from 2037.

Mr Gauke told MPs the Government was accepting the recommendation made in a review of the state pension age earlier this year. However, the move was not in the Conservative general election manifesto last month.

The move brings the planned change forward seven years earlier than was initially planned, with the new arrangements brought in over two years.

READ MORE: SNP call for Theresa May to end pension ‘injustice’

Mr Gauke told the House of Commons that the new timetable would scale back the projected increase in pensions spending by 0.4% of GDP in 2039/40 - equivalent to a saving of around £400 per household.

It would save £74 billion by 2045/46 compared with the previous proposals.

Mr Gauke said: “As the Cridland Review makes clear, the increases in life expectancy are to be celebrated, and I want to make clear that even the timetable for the rise that I’m announcing today, future pensioners can still expect on average more than 22 years in receipt of the state pension.

“But increasing longevity also presents challenges to the Government.

“There is a balance to be struck between funding of the state pension in years to come whilst also ensuring fairness for future generations of taxpayers.”

A DWP source was quoted as saying that the pensions triple lock guaranteeing a real-terms increase in pensioner incomes would remain in place for the rest of the current parliament.

Labour’s shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams said the move was an “astonishing continuation of austerity” that would affect 34 million workers.

“The latest research shows that working people in some places will now fall ill ten years before receiving their state pension under the Tories’ new plan - and just days ago, evidence emerged showing that increases in life expectancy are stalling,” Ms Abrahams said.

“We cannot allow this Government to push people to work longer and longer to pay for its failed austerity agenda.

“That’s why Labour will leave the state pension age at 66, while we look again at the emerging evidence, with a view to guaranteeing a secure and healthy retirement for the many, not just the few.”

Earlier at Prime Minister’s Questions, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford challenged Theresa May over the government’s refusal to provide additional compensation to women born in the 1950s affected by equalisation of the state pension age.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail accused the government of delivering a “kick in the teeth” to workers, while GMB national pensions organiser Keir Greenaway said ministers were “clobbering six million people”.

Downing Street rejected suggestions that the pensions announcement had been timed to coincide with the publication of BBC salary details in an attempt to “bury” the news.

Labour’s shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams said the move was an “astonishing continuation of austerity” that would affect 34 million workers.

READ MORE: Mhairi Black slams Tories after woman takes own life amid pension fears