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UK state pension age may rise to 68 by 2030s

LONDON -- Britain is likely to raise the state pension age to 68 in the mid-2030s, a decade earlier than previously expected, to offset the impact of improving life expectancy, the government said, as it seeks to cut its pension bill.

The change, announced ahead of the government's Autumn Statement on its economic plans later on Thursday, would affect Britons who are now below the age of 50.

The government has already announced that the state pension age will rise to 66 by 2020 and 67 by 2028 for both sexes, from 65 for men and 60 for women, and those dates will not change, it said.

Bringing forward the increase in the retirement age to 68 would help make the pension system more affordable and make it fairer so people across generations spend, on average, up to one third of their adult lives in retirement, the government said.

“These changes will help ensure the country's pensions system is affordable well into the future and that we have a sustainable long-term fiscal position,” it said in a statement.

The state pension age had previously been expected to rise to 68 only in 2046.

Under current estimates of life expectancy the pension age is now set to rise again to 69 by the late 2040s, the government said.

“The principle announced today will save around 400 billion pounds (US$657 billion), or total savings of over 500 billion pounds once we include the previously announced increases to the state pension age (to 66 and 67),” the government said.

British finance minister George Osborne is expected to announce later on Thursday that he is sticking with his goal to rein in Britain's budget deficit altogether by 2020, despite a recovering economy which has boosted tax revenues.

Governments across Europe are seeking to stem the soaring cost of universal basic pension provisions — which in Britain is projected to top 8 percent of economic output by 2060, from just under 7 percent now.

In France, President Francois Hollande has announced reform of the country's indebted pension system but has stopped short of raising the statutory retirement age of 62 years, fearing widespread public opposition.

December 10, 2013    andyrobf@
It must be remembered that the UK pension is index linked to the cost of living and is increased every year. The increases are paid to pensioners living in the UK, in the European Economic Area and living in a rag bag random selection of some sixteen countries, including Israel, Macedonia, the Philippines and the USA but, illogically and irrationally increases are not paid to pensioners living in some British Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada and South Africa. Additionally around 100 non Commonwealth countries like Thailand, Japan and China are also frozen out. During their working lives these pensioners paid their Contributions to the National Insurance scheme on the same terms as everyone else but, now retired, they are not permitted to claim the yearly increase, the pension is frozen at the rate at which it is first payable in the host country; and simply because they live in the "wrong" country. There is no justification for this discrimination. Under the proposals in the Pension Reform Bill, currently being debated in the House of Lords, the Minister intends to perpetuate this anomaly - his words, not mine.
December 11, 2013    morlege@
I guess that increasing the age at which one can draw a state pension is inevitable as people are living longer and are more physically capable it seems in retirement although not for some of course but overall that is the trend due to modern drugs and equipment like the pacemaker.
However there is no earthly reason why all pensioners when retiring should be treated differently as has been mentioned in the previous comment.
The UK have no financial reason to do so with the National Insurance fund being in a very healthy surplus condition and having lowered the qualifying period makes it even more obvious that this is not the case, so why do the UK government retain this discriminative policy which can be seen around the world? The old saying about British and fair play has gone out of the window. It is about time that they kept up with the agreements that have been signed over the years with many organizations calling for reduction of poverty and the end of discrimination.
December 12, 2013    jcthepop@
British state pensions in Taiwan are frozen. That means that from the date the pensioner starts receiving them, to the time that pensioner dies, there will no increase for cost of living.
If that same person was living in an "unfrozen" country eg. The Philippines, then their pension would be increased every year, the same as the UK pension is raised.
The UK is the only country in the OECD to practice this cruel policy, a policy that the world deplores, and one that every country affected - including Taiwan - should protest in the strongest terms as often as possible to the British government and its representatives in Taiwan.
December 13, 2013    curtisakbar@
The three posts seem to be from the same person, some old pensioner that is angry about not getting his benefits increased. Mate at least you will get a pension, by the time I retire there will not be a pension system, the National Insurance fund is not in a healthy surplus, remember this fund is also for the NHS and other benefits.
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