Ukip wants to cut the state pension age to 65 as part of a swathe of promises designed to install better fairness to pensions.
The party claims that increases in the age at which individuals can claim a state pension have unfairly impacted women and manual workers, in particular, so has instead devised a “retirement window” which will come into effect from 65.
Under the plans, which will be launched as part of the manifesto today, retirees will be able to claim their state pension at 65, but will get more if they do so at an older age, similar to how current rules allow for an uplift of around 5 per cent if workers defer their state pension for a year.
IFA and UKIP candidate for Harwich and North Essex Mark Hughes devised the plans, and he tells Money Marketing the policy is a response to the “blanket approach” of current systems.
“We believe that this is a fair way, because it treats people as individuals,” he says.
Ukip claims it can afford the reduction through savings made elsewhere, and Hughes adds a retirement age of 65 may even reduce costs by taking older workers off benefits.
While Ukip backs the newly introduced pension freedoms, the party is also seeking new safeguards, and will call for a new a new criminal offence to prevent cold-calling of pensions savers. The plans are not expected to extend as far as advertising, though Hughes adds this will remain under consultation.
Finally, it is also planning for a new investment programme for financial education in schools.
Hughes says: “We think that the level of financial education in the UK is abysmal.
“We believe that there are two key points in someone’s financial life, one is as they enter the work force, and the other is when they prepare for retirement.”
Meanwhile, the Green party has committed to dramatically cutting tax reliefs around private pensions in order to fund increased state support through a new Citizen’s Pension.
This would increase to £180 a week for a single pensioner and £310 a week for a couple, regardless of contribution record, and would be backed by abolition of “about half” of concessions, while annual ceilings on tax-free contributions would also be reduced.