Retirement age rise to 68 brought forward in surprise Government announcement

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Millions of men and women will have to wait a year longer to receive their state pension after the Government brought forward plans to raise the retirement age to 68.

The rise in the pension age had been planned to be brought in from 2044, but the Government said on Wednesday it would be phased in between 2037 and 2039 – seven years earlier than planned.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions David Gauke announced the policy in the Commons on Wednesday afternoon.

The Labour Party criticised the change as “an astonishing continuation of austerity”.

Mr Gauke told MPs: “As life expectancy continues to rise and the number of people in receipt of state pension increases, we need to ensure that we have a fair and sustainable system that is reflective of modern life and protected for future generations.

“Combined with our pension reforms that are helping more people than ever save into a private pension and reducing pensioner poverty to a near record low, these changes will give people the certainty they need to plan ahead for retirement.”

The change will impact anyone born between April 5, 1970 and April 6, 1978, meaning millions will have to work an extra year before retiring.

No one born before April 5, 1970 will be affected by the change.

The Government decided to change to policy on the recommendations of the Cridland report, which when published in March proposed bringing forward the plans.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “We cannot allow this Government to push people to work longer and longer to pay for its failed austerity agenda.

“That’s why Labour will leave the state pension age at 66, while we look again at the emerging evidence, with a view to guaranteeing a secure and healthy retirement for the many, not just the few.”

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