State Pension  

Govt brushes off calls to lower state pension age

Govt brushes off calls to lower state pension age

The Department for Work and Pensions has responded to calls for the state pension age to be lowered, saying it would be "neither affordable nor fair".

The government responded to a petition urging it to lower the age at which people can receive their state pension to 60, to benefit young people.

The threshold was increased to age 66 for men and women last year with further phased increases to age 68, which the government plans to bring forward.

In its response, issued last week (July 28), the DWP stated: “Parliament has voted to equalise the State Pension age (SPA) and subsequent retirement ages for men and women. 

“Reducing it to 60 is neither affordable nor fair to taxpayers and future generations.”

The DWP said latest Office for National Statistics data showed the number of people over state pension age compared to working age was "expected to increase".

Also that people are living longer on average and increasing state pension age in line with life expectancy changes had been the approach of successive governments and helped to maintain the cost and sustainability of pensions in the long term.

The DWP said: "The State Pension is funded through the tax contributions of the current working-age population. Reducing the SPA to 60 would therefore increase the tax burden of the current working-age population."

It pointed out that had the state pension age not increased for men and women the total additional cost to taxpayers would have been about £215bn between 2010-11 and 2025-26, in 2018-19 prices.

Addressing concerns about employment for the younger generations, the DWP said the government has provided an “unprecedented amount of support via our plan for jobs to help those of all ages find work and get the skills they need to return to work”.

At the time of writing, the petition had more than 68,000 signatures and will be considered for debate in parliament if it reaches 100,000 signatures.

amy.austin@ft.com

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