The state pension age for men and women in the UK is in the process of increasing from 65 to 66, with further rises to be implemented over the coming decades. It’s a controversial topic with many older people unhappy about having to work later than expected.
Making the subject even more contentious, a think tank has now recommended for the increases to be accelerated – with the state pension age moving to 75 in just over 15 years’ time. The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a centre-right, independent think tank founded by former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, has recommended the threshold for the state pension move to 70 by 2028 and then to 75 by 2035 for both men and women.
The CSJ highlights that the first state pension schemes, with eligibility thresholds of 65 to 70 years, launched at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century when the life expectancy was about 50 years. Today the life expectancy is 81 and the current eligibility threshold is much the same.
The CSJ says the state pension scheme still operates within the age thresholds set for the pioneer pension schemes over 100 years ago, revealing what they believe to be a disconnect between contemporary life expectancies and the state pension age.
This raises the question of whether the state pension age is fit for the 21st century.