State pension age can’t keep rising if we’re all dying earlier | Personal Finance | Finance

In 2014, the Office for National Statistics predicted that by 2028 average life expectancy for a 67-year-old man would be 88.1 years rising to 90.1 years for women.

Now it has cut those numbers to 85.7 years for men and 87.8 years for women.

That’s a drop of more than two years.

The Covid pandemic has played a part, while the nation’s poor diet and sedentary lifestyles aren’t helping.

Nor are lengthy NHS waiting lists, with more than seven million stuck waiting for an operation, often while their health problems intensify.

Bringing forward the state pension age hike in these circumstances would have gone down like a lead balloon, said Becky O’Connor, director of public affairs at PensionBee.

“Increasing the state pension age hits low earners hardest, as they are most dependent on the state pension, and lack personal savings to bridge the gap if they retire early,” she says.

Another big problem is that millions of workers now fall sick in their early 50s. They are forced to stop working years before they turn 66, let alone 67 or 68. Manual workers find it hardest.

Millions are already forced to scrape by on any meagre savings or benefits until the state pension kicks in, if they live that long.

Again, those on low incomes are hit hardest, with male life expectancy in the poorest parts of the UK a staggering 10 years lower than in the richest, and eight years for women.

Many risk dying before getting a penny in state pension, despite making decades of National Insurance contributions.

Making them wait longer is deeply unfair, yet that’s what’s happening.

READ MORE: Pensioners risk missing out on state pension if they don’t claim

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