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The Government has announced plans to extend the retirement age to 68, leaving six million workers having to work an extra year before retiring, following a change in the State Pension Age.

The Department for Work and Pensions has published a review into the state pension age, proposing a new timetable for the rise to 68 years.

The government has announced plans to increase the state pension age to 68 between 2037 and 2039, in line with proposals laid out in the Cridland report.

"While it is possible to delay retirement and take a higher pension in exchange, the same flexibility does not exist in reverse".

Under current plans, the state pension age for men and women will be equalised at 65 at the end of 2018, before rising to 66 in 2020 and 67 in 2028. "So on the one hand they are maintaining state pension increases for today's retirees, while at the same time telling people age 47 and under that they will have to work longer before receiving their state pension".

Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon, commented: "It's ironic that the Government is proceeding with an accelerated increase in the state pension age days after statistics show improvements in life expectancy may be levelling off, meaning this increase may be less justified on affordability grounds". The change will affect everyone born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978.

But the charity Age UK said the Government is "picking the pockets" of everyone in their late 40s and younger.

John Cridland, former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry and the author of the independent report, said the aim was to "smooth the transition for tomorrow's pensioners, and to try and make the future both fair and sustainable". Being 68 years old in 2037 will not be the same as being 68 in 1948, when the modern state pension was introduced.

He said: 'This is about the Government taking responsible action in response to demographic pressures.

"Many occupational schemes are created to interact with the state pension system", he said.

However, this has been increasing ever since due to changes in life expectancy and a modern-day 65-year-old can now expect to live for another 22.8 years - or a third (33.6%) of their adult life.

The UK now spends 5.2% of GDP on the state pension. By the government's own figures, someone entering retirement back then could expect to live 23 per cent of their adult life in retirement.

In response to this announcement, Labour's shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said the opposition party did not support the government's decision.

The data from University College London, showing that the rate of increase in life expectancy has slowed, will inevitably lead to questions around the pace of State Pension Age increases.

Investment platform AJ Bell said the change was a necessary move, though Theresa May's minority government was likely to face a battle to get the controversial measure through the House of Commons.


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