State pension age hike to be delayed until 2040s with announcement due today | Personal Finance | Finance

The state pension age hike to 68 will not be brought forward, it is expected to be announced today. Mel Stride, the work and pensions secretary, is set to tell MPs about the conclusions of the latest statutory review on the pension age.

The Government first published news of a state pension age review in December 2021.

It said the review would consider whether the rules around pensionable age are appropriate, based on life expectancy and other evidence.

While there is a legal requirement to feedback by May 7, Mr Stride is expected to tackle the issue today. Reports state the work and pensions secretary will inform MPs now is not the right time to make the change.

He is also expected to add any decision will be pushed back until after the next general election.

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The state pension age is currently 66, with two further increases set out in legislation.

A gradual rise to 67 for those born on or after April 1960 has already been confirmed

So too has a gradual rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 1977.

The most recent review considered whether the increases to 68 should be brought forward to 2037 to 2039.

Becky O’Connor, director of Public Affairs at PensionBee, recently weighed in on the matter.

She suggested an accelerated rise to the state pension age would not have been welcomed, particularly given the backdrop of recent pension announcements in the spring Budget.

Ms O’Connor said: “An earlier increase to the state pension age from 67 to 68 would have gone down like a lead balloon.

“It would have looked especially punishing for people on lower incomes, so hot on the heels after the Government removed the Lifetime Allowance limit for people with larger pension pots and increased the Annual Allowance in the Budget last week.

“Amid these changes, an earlier rise in the state pension age would have been viewed as penalising those who are dependent on the state pension for retirement by effectively forcing them to work longer, at the same time as potentially facilitating the earlier retirement of higher earners.

“More importantly, life expectancy has not been rising, so the biggest justification for increasing the state pension age just wasn’t there. The state pension age is still going to rise to 68, but it looks like this is now more likely to be according to the previous timetable rather than a new accelerated one.”

Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, added: “Given we have literally seen rioting on the streets in France in response to a proposed rise in the state pension age, it comes as no surprise that the UK Government has backed away from the idea of accelerating a planned rise in the UK state pension age to 68.

“With less than two years to go until the general election, hiking the state pension age faster would likely have been political suicide for the Conservatives, who are already trailing Labour in the polls.

“The decision will come as a huge relief to people in their late 40s and early 50s who could potentially have been forced to wait an extra 12 months to receive their state pension as a result.

“However, this might not be the end of the story, with the Government expected to say it will push any decision beyond the election. If life expectancy growth returns by then, the next administration will likely be left grappling with this thorny issue once again.”

A DWP spokesperson previously told “The Government is required by law to regularly review the state pension age. The next review will be published by May 7.”

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