Government says state pension age is rising too slowly

  • 11 September 2011
  • From the section Business
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The government says the timetable for raising the state pension age to 67 is too slow.

"We've always said that the timescale left by the last government was too slow," Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told the BBC.

At the moment, the age is due to rise to 67 in 2036 and 68 by 2046.

The Department for Work and Pensions stressed that no decision has been taken yet but added that an automatic mechanism was being considered.

"The [last] government left us with a deadline in the 2030s and we think that's too late because people's age levels have increased even since they made that announcement," Mr Duncan Smith said on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show

"People are living longer but they're still retiring at the same age, so the purpose now is to look at that, and we're reviewing that to see what might be reasonable, but always giving them good warning about what happens."

'Express train'

There has been criticism of the length of time that women have been given to prepare for the raising of their state pension age in the pensions bill, which is currently before parliament.

The bill raises the pension age for women to 65 in 2018 and then 66 in 2020.

The government has been holding a consultation over the summer into whether further reforms are needed to the state pension age.

Sources quoted in The Observer said that the most likely change would be that raising the pension age to 67 would be brought forward 10 years to 2026.

The government announced in this year's Budget that it wanted to create a new, automatic mechanism for future increases in the pension age, based on regular, independent reviews.

"Everybody knows we are living longer. It is like an express train," pensions minister Steve Webb told The Observer.

"I am even more convinced now than I was a year ago that we are running to stand still on all this stuff."

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