Britons ‘might be 70’ before getting state pension as workers ‘pay price’ for triple lock

Retirement expert advises people to learn about state pensions

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Increases to the state pension age are set to be introduced in the coming years, and an expert has warned future retirees they could be made to wait even longer to get their state pension. Becky O’Connor, Head of Pensions and Savings at interactive investor, spoke exclusively to to discuss the future of the state pension age.

The state pension age currently stands at 66, but this will change if Government plans go ahead.

By 2028, the state pension age is set to rise to 67, and another increase is scheduled to come in by 2046, taking the state pension age to 68.

Ms O’Connor believes the planned changes will force more older people to stay in work as they will not be able to afford to retire.

She said: “Pushing back the state pension age further is a gamble on people’s health and ability to find suitable employment into their late sixties.

“It must be remembered that many people rely on the state pension to retire – around a quarter of people have no private pension savings at all.

“Even many of those that do have private savings depend on the state pension for a large chunk of retirement income.

“An increase from 67 to 68 condemns people, who may no longer be fully fit for work and might have other people to care for, to work even longer.”

The state pension age is currently undergoing a review, which must be published by May 2023.

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However, Ms O’Connor expects the Government to carry out its original plans for the state pension age and that further changes could be coming for future generations.

She said: “This increase seems highly likely. Especially as the Government has recommitted to the state pension triple lock.

“The price we all might pay for guaranteed rises in the state pension could be receiving it even later.

“The youngest workers today might even be 70 before they can expect any state pension.”

If the state pension age does continue to rise, and life expectancy for Britons does not increase with it, the length of time people are able to benefit from receiving their state pension could shrink.

Ms O’Connor explained: “A life of paying National Insurance contributions may not end up rewarding people for very long.

“Life expectancy is no longer rising universally and has stalled in some regions.

“In some parts of the country, someone retiring at 68 might only expect to live a further five or so years, and the elephant in the room is what working past your healthy years can do to an individual’s life expectancy.”

Ms O’Connor warned that increases in the state pension age could place more responsibility on savers to provide for their own retirement.

She concluded: “For those in good health who are happy to keep working and have jobs that suit them in their sixties, a rise from 67 to 68 won’t make a huge difference.

“But you can’t imagine many people would be indifferent about it, even those in fortunate positions, with good private pension savings.

“It will put more pressure on people to build up even more private pension savings for themselves throughout working life. That is easier said than done, especially when the cost of living is so high.”

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