State pension age warning as Britons may have to work longer

Baroness Hoey: It is ‘quite awful’ to discover rise in State Pension age

Baroness Kate Hoey has warned it’s “quite awful” for people to suddenly discover they will have to wait longer to claim their state pension after working all their lives. She said this can be particularly devastating news for those who have worked in manual labour and who may not want to work into their later years as others can.

The former Home Office minister appeared on TalkTV this morning as the Government is set to make an announcement about the state pension age today.

The Government is expected to announce plans to bring forward the move to 68 is to be shelved.

The current state pension age is 66 for both men and women with plans in place for this to gradually increase to 67 and 68.

Baroness Hoey told presenter Mike Graham: “You meet people who are past retiring age and are still actually very, very busy.

“There’s no doubt about it, people are living longer, therefore there is a tendency for them to be able to work on.

“As long as you have that choice that you can still work on and you don’t have to retire.

“I think for a lot of people who have worked very, very hard, particularly in manual jobs, that are probably in many ways not as healthy as some of our jobs have been, I think it is quite awful to suddenly discover that you’re in that line, where you’re going to be the group that’s going to have to work on to get your state pension, which you’ve paid for right throughout your life.”

Baroness Hoey said raising the state pension age is a “very difficult issue” for the Government to agree on.

She said: “Usually what people say is very glibly, if you could just get cross-party support, if we can get all the political parties to sign up to it, then it would be much easier.

“But you won’t get that on something like the pension age.”

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Plans are currently in place for the state pension age to increase gradually from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028, and from 67 to 68 between 2044 and 2046.

The Government is legally required to issue an update on the state pension age by May this year but pensions minister Mel Stride is expected to address the issue today.

Mr Stride is also expected to confirm any decision on bringing forward the increase will be pushed back until after the next general election.

People on the full basic state pension currently receive £141.85 a week while the full new state pension is £185.15 a week.

State pension payments are increasing next month with the full basic state pension going up to £156.20 a week while the full new state pension is going up to £203.85 a week.

A person can find out how much state pension they are on track to receive using the state pension forecast tool on the Government website.

The Government said: “The Government needs to make sure that decisions on how to manage its costs are, robust, fair and transparent for taxpayers now and in the future.

“It must also ensure that as the population becomes older, the state pension continues to provide the foundation for retirement planning and financial security.”

Becky O’Connor, director of public affairs at PensionBee, recently said bringing forward the increase would have been very unpopular.

She said: “An earlier increase to the state pension age from 67 to 68 would have gone down like a lead balloon.

“It would have looked especially punishing for people on lower incomes, so hot on the heels after the Government removed the lifetime allowance limit for people with larger pension pots and increased the annual allowance in the Budget.

“Life expectancy has not been rising, so the biggest justification for increasing the state pension age just wasn’t there.

“The state pension age is still going to rise to 68, but it looks like this is now more likely to be according to the previous timetable rather than a new accelerated one.”

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