Government to 'review' state pension age

Pension file

Newly appointed pensions minister Ros Altmann will launch an independent review of the state pension age by 2017.

In her first appearance in the House of Lords on Thursday, Altmann outlined her plan to review the state pension age in the coming months.

"Rising longevity means that successive generations are spending longer and longer in retirement. This is of course pretty good news; however, we all know there are huge cost implications for state pensions, which is why we will have an independent review of the state pension age by 2017.

"I want the review to consider not only rising life expectancy but also wider social occupational and indeed gender factors," she adds. "I am acutely aware of the disadvantages faced by women in our pension system."

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New approach needed

However, she reiterated a promise by prime minister David Cameron that the 'triple lock' - rules requiring the state pension to increase by inflation, average earnings or 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher - will remain intact for the duration of this Parliament.

Altmann went on to accuse pension providers of not doing enough to make the new freedoms available.

"Too many firms are not offering the new freedoms to their customers, or imposing hefty charges, lengthy delays or exit penalties on those wishing to transfer."

Altmann's speech comes on the back of a statement on Wednesday (17 June) by chancellor George Osborne that the government could introduce a cap on the exit fees charged by pension providers to customers looking to switch to a different company.

"We must not allow consumer rights to play second fiddle to the interests of large financial firms. So far it is clear that competition has not always addressed consumer detriment, but ultimately it is in the interests of providers to look after their customers well. Their long-term success requires a new approach."

She concluded by saying she hopes also to examine transparency of pricing and ensure firms treat customers fairly.

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer

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Is anything positive going to happen for women born after April 1953 who now have to wait till they are at least 65 to claim a state pension. It seems unfair that those born at the beginning of 1953 get theirs at 62 but those born later in the year have to wait until they are 65

...and those born in 1954 now retire at the age of 66. The phasing was originally introduced in recognition of the fact that women born in those years had less lead time to react to the change. The original phasing should have left as it was.

I take it that the implication is then that they intend to raise the state pension age still further....marvellous. What next? Every time they announce something I think it couldn't get any worse, and then they always surprise me.....and not in a good way!

Every raise is nearly 6K off your pension, plus another 5K for Mr Median in payments in. You also could have invested the money so lose that interest and capital gains. 
Each year is a loss of 12K. 
Just another default by the state and it is nothing to do with longevity 
Its everything to do with the state pension being a ponzi. 
That's why the amount owed is hidden off the books. 

I was born in 1955 and made the provisions for my retirement at 60.  I did all the government asked of me to be in a good financial position (joined a company pension scheme/saved) to achieve this. Then they announced they were moving the goal posts.
The followIng is a Moneywise article on 29 May 2013:
Older women singled out for harsh treatment: Until recently, many of these women were expecting to receive their state pension at age 60, since they were unaware of the changes made in 1995. The coalition agreement did promise that no changes would be made to women's state pension age before 2020
The government reneged this decision and I now face having to work a further 6 years before I am able to withdraw my state pension.  I have more than paid my 30 (or even 35) years to qualify and yet I have to continue paying a percentage of my wages into a pension when I could be saving that money.  It is VERY unfair, tomorrow I should have had the right to retire.....

I started work age 16 but unfort had to stop work age 50 when I became disabled.Thats ok I thought I will just about manage when I get my pension age 60,How wrong I was,I'm really struggling.Why is there nothing in place for people who had to stop work for medical reasons?I have already made 34 years of contributions.

  1. What really get me so angry is that they say everyone is living longer.    How often have we heard of celebrities in particular who have died before 65 and of course with their salary would have paid in a great deal of money.  Of course that does not just apply to them.  I am very cynical my husband only managed to reach 65 for 11 months and lost the pension he would have got had he lived longer. Of course I had my own pension so they gave me something like £30 more big deal.  Ofcourse there is never anything said about how much the government have saved I bet it amounts to quite a sum.  Lots of people may live longer, but also sadly lots of people die before they even get a chance to reap the rewards of all their hard work.  Just not fair.

It is undeniable that, to date, people have, on average, been living longer. It simply isn't possible to generalise from personal anecdotes; the mortality data collected by the Registrars of Births and Deaths is very accurate in this country. Having said that, the commentators all seem to uncritically extrapolate the current trend. This is a big error, because there is evidence steadily piling up that this rate of increase in life expectancy will certainly fall, and very probably go into reverse.
Why so?  If you are fat, you will, on average, die younger than someone who is of normal weight. If you take little exercise you will, on average, die younger. No one in the pensions industry appears to be taking into account the fact that the current younger generations contain very significant proportions of mobidly obese inactive people who will become disabled and dependant before they die prematurely. The actuaries were asleep over longevity, they seem equally oblivious to the pending fall in life expectancy.

I agree, I had already retired when this new rule came in and so was not happy- let's all write in again as the expensions minister did not see it as an issue to give such short notice and we do not want it happening again.

I have been caught in the 1953 trap too. All of my financial plans were geared toward me getting my pension at 62. I am happy to work until I am 65 as I really enjoy my job  but resent the fact that I now have no choice and if I have to retire early there will be real financial implications.The government beat the drum saying that we have to make sure that we start saving for retirement well in advance and then give practially no notice that our pension is delayed for 3-4 years.
I wrote to my local MP when the changes were announced raising these points  and asking whether we would be compensated.He forwarded my letter to the then pensions minister, with his own comments supporting my views.
I received a letter back which said basically, they had to start somewhere and this was the starting point.(tough in other words)
No help at all, It is probably propping a chair up somewhere

When we married, due to the difference in our ages, we calculated that my wife would have to work for 4.5 years after I retire. Suddenly, that's all changed! I draw my state pension in a month's time but I now have to wait 9.5 years until my wife can draw hers!
Some of us may be living longer but more and more seem to fall by the wayside, the majority seem to die just before Pension age!

Replying to comment by ldaniels:
Not correct, I was born in March 1953 and don't get my pension until I am 63. The most important fact is that I would so like to have been born a month or so later because although I would have had to wait a little longer for my pension I would have had the new state pension instead of the current one, a difference of 40 odd pounds per week for the rest of my life!!

I trust the unelected Pension Minister, will not affect the already elongated retirement date for women who during their workig lives thought they were going to retire at 60, as is the cas for my wife who was born 3rd September 1954.
Just stop medaling in peoples lives and stand for electin if you want asay in running the country. 

Why should women retire earlier than men? When everyone knows that that women have a life expectancy exceeding mens. Figures also back this up. Therefore women should retire and receive their pension at least five years or more later than men. Thats equality, both sexes receiving the same length of .retirement and a saving for the country.