New changes to DWP state pension may affect when you can retire

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is reviewing the statutory retirement age, which is currently 66 for both men and women.

The age at which people can start claiming their state pension is frequently reassessed to ensure it remains fair as life expectancy increases.

According to the DWP, the review is ongoing because “when the state pension was introduced in 1948, a 65-year-old could expect to spend 13.5 years collecting this benefit, or about 23% of his adult life”.

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In 2022, however, a 65-year-old can expect to live an average of another 22.8 years, which is equivalent to 33.6% of their adult life.

As the Daily Record reports, new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that the number of people over retirement age is set to rise to 16.9 million by 2042.

The new review will examine whether the current state retirement age is appropriate.

Two gradual increases in the retirement age are provided for in the legislation: an increase to 67 for people born after April 5, 1960 and an increase to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for people born after April 5, 1977.

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A previous review of the statutory retirement age was carried out in 2017, when it was found that the next review should examine whether this planned increase to 68 should be accelerated until 2037-39.

According to the DWP: “As the number of people over the state pension age increases, due to a growing population and people living longer on average, the government must ensure that decisions on how to manage its costs are sound, fair and transparent for the taxpayers of today and tomorrow.

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

What will the revision of the state retirement age take into account?

In the review, a variety of evidence and data will be examined, such as:

  • New data on life expectancy
  • Costs of population aging and future government pension expenditure
  • Evolution of the labor market and ability of the population to continue working beyond the legal retirement age
  • The legislative calendar for the legal retirement age

As set out in the Pensions Act 2014, the UK government is required to review the statutory retirement age regularly, and the new review must be published by 7 May 2023.

For anyone confused about when they will be eligible for their state pension, the UK government has shared an online checker that can tell you after entering your gender and date of birth.

The online checker can tell you when you will reach statutory retirement age and qualify for pension credit.

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