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Government refuses to back down on state pension age

The Government has refused to back down on plans to raise the state pension age for men and women to 66 by 2020 despite concerns the changes will unfairly impact on 500,000 women.

Labour has been pressing for an alternative timetable which would see a delay in the implementation of the state pension age increase, followed by more rapid rises from 2020 onwards.

Presenting the Pensions Bill for its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith (pictured) said Labour’s alternative reform plan would cost the taxpayer an additional £10bn.

He insisted the Government would stick to the current timetable which will see the state pension age for women rise from 60 to 65, the same age as men, by 2018. The pension ages of both men and women will then increase to 66 by 2020.

Duncan Smith said he was willing to discuss transitional arrangements within this timeframe.

He said: “If we delayed the move to 66 it would cost £10bn. I think that is an unfair burden that would be borne by the next generation.

“We have no plans to change the dates of implementation but we will look at transitional arrangements.”

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