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State pension age to rise to 67 sooner than expected

Government considers advancing deadline to 2026

Government proposals could put your retirement plans on hold for another year.

It seems likely that the state pension age for both men and women will now rise to 67 a decade earlier, in 2026 after Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, stated the previous schedule, which set a target date for men and women of 2036, was ‘too slow’. 

Pension changes in the pipeline  

The government has already announced major changes to the state pension age (SPA). Women who expected to receive state pension in 2018, when they reached 64, now have to work an extra year, until they turn 65, as the state pension age for men and women will be equalised two years earlier than previously planned – in 2018 rather than 2020. 

A further rise in state pension age, from 65 to 66 for both men and women, will take place in 2020. 

Further changes on the way    

State pension age was scheduled to rise again in 2036, but the Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, has now suggested that it will be increased to 67 a decade earlier. Commenting on the most recent proposals he said: ‘Everybody knows we are living longer. It is like an express train.’The timescales for 67 and 68 are too slow. If it is 67 in the mid-2030s, we will be going backwards in terms of share of your life in retirement.’ 

Although the government has yet to confirm specific dates, it seems likely that the 2046 deadline for raising the state pension age to 68 will also be advanced.

Commenting on recent developments, Which? pensions expert, Ian Robinson said: ‘The new dates may be unwelcome news for today’s 40 year olds, who could find their retirement plans put on hold for another year. State pension remains a crucial base for most people however, although topping up with a private pension is increasingly important. Paying into a workplace or personal pension scheme not only boosts your retirement income but gives you more control. If you want to retire early, you can consider using other savings to tide you over until you qualify.’ 

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