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State pension age should not increase further, PLSA says


The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association says it does not want to see the state pension age increased any more because it would disadvantage groups of people with lower than average life expectancies.

In its response to the Independent Review of the State Pension Age, being led by former CBI director general John Cridland, the PLSA says the UK is set to have – at 68 – the highest state pension age of any OECD country.

The PLSA says raising it further would be detrimental to people with lower than average life expectancies who might receive little if any state pension, and people with lower than average healthy life expectancies who might struggle to stay in work before the state pension age.

The PLSA also recommends that the state pension triple lock – which guarantees the state pension rises by whichever is highest out of average earnings, the consumer price index, or 2.5 per cent – should be replaced by indexation in line with earnings so that the state pension keeps its current value of around 30 per cent of average earnings.

PLSA external affairs director Graham Vidler says: “A state pension maintained at 30 per cent of average earnings can provide a strong basis for future retirement incomes. Removing the triple lock can keep it affordable without the need to increase state pension age still further to the detriment of people with poorer health.”

Vidler says: “We also believe that proposals for a variable pension age, while attractive in tackling socio-economic differences, would sacrifice the simplicity and clarity of the current system. On balance, we support the current system of a single state pension age for all.”

The PLSA also highlights the impact of changes to the state pension age on some pension schemes, especially those with defined benefit schemes.

It says many of those schemes still retain links to the state pension that would be affected in different ways by any changes to the mechanism for calculating the state pension age.



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There are 17 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. So why not do what they do in China? Heavy manual workers retire earlier than those who work sitting down.

  2. Headline says state pension should not increase, but the actual article says the state pension AGE should not increase. I don’t like clickbait. Any more and this will be another publication I bin!

  3. Unless means testing arrives doesnt matter what they think reality is either taxes increase or only this in need receive the benefit neither will be popular the public like change as long as it doesnt affect them.

    As to Harry’s comment I don’t agree especially with the increase in mental health issues stress can be more than just on your body

  4. I think actually it would be a good idea if the State Pension AMOUNT didn’t increase any more for many years yet! (I see the headline has been changed). The burden of this unfunded ‘Benefit’ is crippling and every time the entitlement age pushes forwards the fewer people who qualify in theory and those with impaired health see even less… Certainly the ‘triple lock’ should be scrapped and perhaps the payment rebased to CPI back a few years (so no increases till it catches-up!).

    • what do you mean BENEFIT many of us worked hard and paid in for several years 45 in my case to be able to have an income in our later years the pension needs to rise annually to combat inflation or do you think pensioners live on fresh air

  5. @Philip Milton
    Philip, £119.30 is the state pension payable for those with the maximum qualifying years, and that is all some people are getting. It seems you think that is too much, or am I misunderstanding you. Taxes do need to go up, however unpopular. Sure, we will complain about it when we pay our taxes but that doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do.

  6. Trevor Harrington 4th January 2017 at 10:48 am

    Any civilised and developed Country knows that it is socially and economically imperative that they have a financial way of getting the older generations off the work cycle at a certain age, and into retirement. Yes … I do mean absolutely imperative.

    On first thought this gives rise to two very substantial social and economical advantages :-
    1) people do not have to breed large numbers in order to create support for themselves in their older ages (a pension by any other meaning – through multiple child births – and all the unpleasant subjugator functions of that on the female of the species).
    2) it releases that gainful employment, often at the upper levels of responsibility and reward, for the younger generations to move into and subsequently develop with their own younger enthusiasm and ambition.

    However, beyond these two major benefits to society, once you start to think about it, there are a myriad of additional social and economic benefits to society too. I am sure you can think of a number.
    Greater health in old age – with reduced care and medical costs.
    Greater social development in the younger economy with increased tax revenues.
    Less welfare support in unemployment for the young and a better more stable young society.
    etc … etc

    Therefore, whilst we are currently trying to resolve the massive overspend of the previous socialist administration, we are indeed having to extend retirement ages and reduce state pension benefits in size and amount, whilst increasing the age of qualification.

    Never the less, it must be a social and economic objective to ultimately spread the retirement benefits of all the people in our country much more fairly, and eventually reduce the state retirement age back down to age 60, for everyone. In doing this we will have to make the state pension a viable livable wage once again, entirely in it’s own right.

    If this means that we must curtail the massive excesses of pension benefits at the top of society, in both the public sector and the private sector, then so be it, and the sooner the better.

    Having said that, unfortunately, turkeys are unlikely to vote for Christmas, and so this process is going to take some time.

    However, I would point out that during this social process of re-alignment, or re-distribution, of retirement pension benefits, you will certainly see the higher rate tax relief on pension contributions disappear, and you will also see those who are already in receipt of pensions in excess of £40,000 pa (say) being super taxed on the excess. You will also see retirement ages being equalised across all professions and occupations before they ultimately start coming back down to age 60.

    Finally, the early and utterly corrupt and unfair early retirement through spurious and fraudulent reasons will also have to cease.

  7. Of course the State retirement age should be increased. When the State pension was first introduced retirement age was 65 and the average life expectancy was below this. If we take the longevity in around 1920 today’s equivalent would be about 78.

    However In think 70 would be reasonable (except for heavy manual work – see my post above).
    It seems to me that we just get lazier and lazier. It amazes me the amount of traffic on the road from about 16.00 (and I do not count the school run). Fridays after lunch are impossible, we must be a nation of POETS.

    Is it really any wonder that our productivity is amongst the worst in Europe?

    • Trevor Harrington 5th January 2017 at 12:00 pm

      The longevity – by which I guess you mean “average age of death or life expectancy” has only changed since 1920 because there has been a world war since then and another one just before that date.

      Other than that, life expectancy or longevity, is virtually identical, apart from about three months. ONS stats confirm this fact.

      The only reason why we currently need to increase the state retirement age, and reduce state pension benefit, is because successive Governments have spent our NICs on other things – particularly the socialist Governments of the 1970s, and in particular the recent Blair Brown government.

      Interesting that neither of these two fellows have been Knighted or made up to the Lords.

      • Heaven alone knows where you get your figures on in which world you live in. It is a provable and accepted fact by almost every respected organ that longevity has increased dramatically over the 20th Century – not least as a result of the improvements in medical science. Your assertion is about as valid as saying the Earth is flat. (You don’t believe that too, do you?)

        Just as a one off example from a medical research paper:

        in Britain in the early 20th century death in childhood became far less common and by the early 1930s life expectancy for a man at birth was about 60. By the 1950s it had risen to about 65. Things improved more slowly in the late 20th century but by 1971 life expectancy for a man in Britain was 68. For a woman it was 72. In 2015 life expectancy was 79 for a man in the UK and 83 for a woman.

        • Trevor Harrington 6th January 2017 at 11:26 am

          Sorry Harry – your interpretation of the figures is wrong.

          You need to look at the figures for life expectancy which DO NOT average back into the two world Wars of 1914 and of 1939. Then you will see that the average life expectancy figures have hovered around 83 for males and 86 for females since the 1970s.

          I would also suggest that you do not simply accept the Government presentation of increased life expectancy which is more to do with the excuse which they need in order to question retirement ages and reduce state pension benefits, so that they can reduce public spending in those areas (the reasons for which I have already stated).

          I would simply recommend that you read the ONS reports and see for yourself.

          I am also sorry if this does not fit in with your quaint interpretation of the historical facts concerning the socialist governments of the 60.

          Perhaps more interestingly, I personally do not see a great difference in the generally good social intentions of both the pink and blue Governments of our lifetime (60 plus years), other than the fact that, one decides what they think is best for our society, and then considers the costs that may be involved of those policies, whereas the other simply effects it’s policies without further consideration to what the costs might be to us all in the longer term.

  8. I know it’s a bit late for a new post but I had to laugh at Trevor Harrington’s political point about the overspend of the last socialist administration. When was that then? Back in the seventies?

    • Trevor Harrington 5th January 2017 at 12:27 pm

      The socialist Government of the 1970s precipitated the “three day week” and national electric power cuts, and that resulted in us, as a Country, having to apply to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an emergency loan, which in turn crashed the currency (Sterling), and gave us two consecutive years of over 25% inflation – meaning that anybody’s cash savings or pension (if it was not a public sector index linked one) halved in spending value over the two years concerned.

      The socialist Blair Brown administration inherited a national gross domestic budget surplus, which was beginning to redeem our national debt, and then they went berserk with public spending on their own pet socialist policies, and turned it into the massive budget deficit which you see today. That in turn has left us with a need to reduce and control the deficit before the national debt becomes completely unsustainable – a bit like you increasing your mortgage to a figure which you cannot possibly afford.

      One way of reducing the budget deficit, is to massively reduce public spending, which of course would not be acceptable, although some RELATIVELY SMALL spending cuts have been made. The other way of doing it is to ensure that spending does not increase with inflation, and hope that the time lag between the period of overspend and a balanced budget is acceptable. You are about to see a period of inflation which will reduce the national debt (eg 5% inflation for 5 years will reduce the debt by 25% ish)

      The real question is how to reduce the budget deficit. The only real way of reducing public spending (the deficit), bearing in mind the massive size of the problem which Blair and Brown left us with, is to reduce the liability of the largest public spending area – which after the NHS is of course – State Pensions.

      They have done this by increasing the retirement age by 6/7 years for women and 2 years for men, whilst also reducing the actual pension from well over £200 per week (including SERPS) to the current maximum £152 per week. Despite the presentation to the contrary, this has absolutely nothing to do with longevity or the average life expectancy, which has remained the same for over 70 years, according to ONS stataistics.

      You may remember that the Blair Brown government left a note for the incoming Coalition Government, to say that “there is no money left” – this was not a joke … it was a perfectly true statement of fact.
      As I have noted above to Harry – you might also care to reflect on the fact that neither Blair nor Brown have been Knighted or even sent up to the Lords.

      I do not think any of this is particularly funny.

  9. peter mulholland 6th January 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Cut civil service benefits
    And retain 65 retirement age
    As one politician remarked we need to be responsible with funds
    We can do that by cutting their ludicrous pensions and start paying the tiny sate pension
    Seems much fairer

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