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State pension age set to hit 70 by 2050


An increase in the state pension age to 70 is “inevitable” after figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed a sharp rise in life expectancy.

ONS data published yesterday shows that over the past century life expectancy has risen from 51 years to 79 years for men and from 55 to 83 years for women.

Around 20 per cent of men aged 60, and 31 per cent of women, are expected to live until at least 90 years old.

Barnett Waddingham senior consultant Malcolm McLean says: “Although no one has a crystal ball and can’t be sure for certain what the future may hold for us all, the ONS figures do raise the possibility of many more people in this country living well into their nineties by the second half of this century.

“Using the formula now proposed by the Government that future generations should spend up to a third of their adult life in retirement it is very likely that state pension ages will have to rise much faster than currently anticipated, almost inevitably reaching at least 70 by the midpoint of the century.”

He adds: “Longer working lives will surely become the norm for today’s younger generations, something they will have to accept in thinking ahead for retirement and how they are going to finance them.”

The state pension age is due to rise to 65 for both men and women in 2018, before increasing to 66 by 2020 and 67 by 2028.


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There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Why wait 35 years? Many are now working to that age out of choice. Not only do the contribute longer they tend to be healthier and therefore less stain on national resources all round – a comprehensive win win.

  2. I’d like to agree with Harry on the assertion that we tend to be healthier in old age, but it is pretty crap for those who won’t be in good health, and have to wait until 70 while they are suffering physically or mentally. So we have to find a fair way of implementing this sort of change. Personally I know of two people who are struggling to work until 66, due to ill health.

  3. These seem to be the same figures as quoted in an article in The Guardian, which says that they are “period” life expectancies, which make no allowance in the calculations for future improvements (reductions) in mortality rates. Figures on a “cohort” basis which do take allowance of projected future improvements in mortality would tend to have higher life expectancies still.

  4. My brother who is a bricklayer / builder and whilst he might live longer there is no way he’s going to manage to work in his present occupation until such an age. Both his knees are shot now at aged 55. There are many reports available showing people might be living longer but they are in ill or poor health. This assertion that people will work until they drop isn’t fair in a lot of cases. Maybe, if the government didn’t waste so much of our money they could fund a proper state pension for those that need it.

  5. I agree with both Harry and James if that’s possible. As a general point of principle it is great that people who are in good health choose to work longer, but there are certain occupations which require an element of physical exertion and fitness which basically wears the jobholder out. Given that the state pension is available to all it would be unfair to give certain people the state pension at an earlier age than others so all in all I would prefer to make state pensions available as early as is feasible. I guess as a nation we have to decide how much we regard pensions as a welfare benefit and how much we regard it as a source of deferred pay for all the years of contributions to the tax and NI system.

  6. Trevor Harrington 2nd September 2015 at 11:39 am

    I would rather that the Government told the truth.

    The ONS figures do NOT confirm an increased life expectancy at all.

    The figures DO confirm that life expectancy has NOT CHANGED AT ALL over the last 35 years, and indeed one could project with reasonable accuracy that they will in fact DECREASE over the next 20 years due to obesity and substance abuse feeding through to older ages.

    The truth is that this Government is using the misinterpretation of the ONS statistics in order to justify reducing the largest item of public spending, which is of course state pensions, so that we can pay off the national debt – a debt which was largely created by Mr Brown and the Labour government 1997 to 2010.

    If you do not believe me then I strongly suggest you look at the ONS stats yourself.

    The public is not stupid, and I for one would rather have the truth.

  7. In response to the above:

    Much as it pains me to say so Corbyn has a valid point. Indeed this is precisely what happens in China today. Occupations, such as bricklayers, factory workers and oil riggers (for example) should be allowed to retire earlier. However this should not be an open door to NHS workers or police (many of whom sit facing a screen all day).

    As far as Trevor Harrington’s remarks are concerned, I’m not too sure where he gets his statistics from, but just looking around I see people who are living considerably longer than ever before. Just look at the number of 100 birthday cards Liz now sends out compared to those she sent in (say) 1955.

    As for those who are obese, smoke or have other self inflicted complaints – tough – you have done it to yourself. Why should you be a special case?

  8. Oh and PS Trevor

    The ‘public’ is stupid – amazingly so. Indeed for many the lifeguard was not on duty at the gene pool. Just drive around for half an hour.

  9. Trevor Harrington 2nd September 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Harry,

    I am not talking about the motivations of, or the morality of society ….. I am talking about the facts.

    The ONS report does NOT indicate an increase in life expectancy over the last 30 years – as I have already said – if you do not believe me then I would ask that you read the ONS stats for yourself – almost impenetrable stuff – be warned.

    However, it does talk about an increase in life expectancy for the last 100 years, and I am quite sure that if you go back 150 or even 200 years that increase is even more pronounced … there is no surprise there then is there ? – two world wars – dramatic improvements in lifestyle, and diet etc …

    The fundamental, and critically important, factor in a “civilised” society is the provision of a state funded pension. In terms social structure, this means that Women are no longer obliged to produce children as a form of social security or pension, or social security in their older age (a pension). They are therefore no longer subservient to the male of the species, who carry the seed, and who are also physically more powerful.

    I have advocated for many years that our international “aid” budget would be far better spent on pensions for the women (only the women), and allow them to be empowered accordingly. They would then be financially empowered to lead the male into support and family nurture, endeavour and achievement. The African social structure, and lifestyle, is one of multiple “wives” and pension support through the production of children – globally this is not good. The women would also spend their pension in the local community, enabling national financial development.

    Unfortunately, if our own financial problems of the last 20 years, here in the UK, can only be resolved by decimating the state pension system, through the Government’s misinterpretation of the ONS statistics for our presumed longevity of life, then we are not setting a really great example. One could even say that the global economic developments of the last 200 years have been as a direct result of the female of the species taking control of the family structure, and social security.

    The destruction of the state pension in the western world, is a retrograde step in the evolution of man.

    Let us hope that it is temporary aberration, otherwise we are destined to go back to living in caves, and irrationally fearing our neighbours, who we might see as an enemy, or somebody who might want to sire children with our own womenfolk – social breakdown.

  10. Gosh Trevor???????

    But as you rightly point out women are no longer obliged to have children. Indeed the birth rate of indigenous Europeans has dropped alarmingly and is not even at equilibrium. Without immigrants we would have a declining population as in Russia, Germany and Italy. (Presumably that’s one of the reasons why Germany is allowing in so many Syrians).

    So if the above is the case we can expect women to be working – or at least go back to work after having their one or two kids. In which case they are funding their own pensions as well as generating income. There are many (like my wife and I) who do not have kids (unfortunately) and whose wives have always had a career. So in advanced economies your hypothesis – if I have understood it – looks a little thin, if not somewhat out of date.

    Anyway the last 30 years are not the issue – it’s what will happen in the next 30. Those over 40 now are benefiting from increased longevity and these people will be pensioners in 20 – 28 years time – and what of those who come after them?

    Personally I am not against a good cohort eating, drinking and smoking themselves to death. It might just persuade the annuity actuaries to increase rates.

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