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IPPR says retirement age should rise to 67

The state retirement age should rise to 67 but the public would not accept such a policy, says the Institute for Public Policy Research.

The influential thinktank says this is the only way that the pensions system can rem-ain sustainable, given rising life expectancy, and believes the policy should be brought in between 2020 and 2030.

But it says work must be done by the Government to convince a sceptical public which does not believe they will live longer than their parents to accept that they may have to work longer.

The IPPR researched public attitudes to the issue on eight focus groups of men and women aged 25 to 55 and found that people expect their health to decline from the age of 70. They view retirement at 65 or less as sacred.

Although many say they do not intend to rely on the state pension and plan to retire at or before 65 regardless, they are still hostile to the suggestion that they may have to work longer before collecting a state pension, says the IPPR report.

IPPR senior economist Peter Robinson says: “There is a consensus among pension experts that increased life expectancy will make it necessary for us to work longer. Our research shows that the public are not convinced and distrust the evidence from employers, the financial services industry and government, basing their expectations on the experiences of friends and family.”

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber says: “Work till you drop policies of putting up the state pension age will hit the poorest hardest. The gap in life expectancy between rich and poor had been growing in recent years. Decent pensions from 65 can be afforded if the Government meets its target of getting 80 per cent of those of working age into work.”

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