Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has raised his concerns as the government has decided to accelerate their plans to increase the state pension age to 68 for both men and women.
Initially, proposals suggested that the change would begin sometime around 2045, now however the government has said it plans to accelerate to rise to the state pension age, from 67 to 68, by seven years, to sometime between 2037 and 2039. In practise, this means about 7 million people in the UK aged in their late 30s and 40s will have to work an extra year until they are 68 before claiming their state pension.
By implementing the recommendations of their Cridland Review, they are taking £10,000 from the state pension of 7.6 million people. Their announcement followed concerns raised days before by Professor Sir Michael Marmot and Public Health England over faltering life expectancy and wide disparities in healthy life expectancy.
Labour has committed to leaving the state pension at 66 years of age, while undertaking a review of the most recent evidence around life expectancy, healthy life expectancy and the impact of a higher retirement age upon those working in arduous jobs.
Added to this the government has also committed raising the state pension for women born after April 1953; the so called WASPI women, who will see their state pension age rise by up to 18 months as part of plans to make it 66 by 2020, the same as for men. The plans were passed in 2011 – but tens of thousands of women complained they changes came at very short notice resulting in many having to completely change their retirement plans.
Labour is keen to ensure that the mistakes made over equalization of the retirement age for women born in the 1950’s are not repeated. We have already committed to extending pension credit to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable of these women, and are exploring further transitional protections moving forward.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“This Tory Government are asking millions of people to work longer to pay for their failing austerity plans.
“The latest research on life expectancy shows that there is no evidence for bringing the state pension age further forward.”
“That’s why Labour want to take a measured approach, leaving the state pension age at 66 while we review the evidence emerging around life expectancy and consider how we can protect those doing physical jobs. Talking to local people is a vital part of that process.”