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Wicks rejects raising state pension age

The Government has resis-ted calls to raise the state pension age beyond 65 but says people who want to work beyond 70 will not be forced to retire.

Speaking at the Royal London fringe event at the Labour conference this week, pensions minister Malcolm Wicks said any move to increase the qualifying age could significantly disadvantage people in their 50s on course to retire who could find themselves without a pension for another decade.

But former National Association of Pensions Funds chairman Alan Pickering told the meeting that a changing demographic means that the Government will have to raise the pension age to 75 for men and women by 2020.

The Government has promised a lump sum or higher payments for people who take their state pension later.

Pickering believes that encouraging employers not to discriminate by age will strengthen the workforce and allow workers to support themselves and contribute to the economy for longer.

Wicks said more inf-ormed choice through financial literacy was nee-ded in addition to greater flexibility and choice for those looking to retire or carry on working but he off-ered few solutions.

He said: “I do not think we are in a situation where it makes sense to raise the state pension age we are already phasing in the age 65 requirement for women.”

•Pickering, p14

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