AvivaAug 1 2017

Aviva steps in to protect workers hit by pension age rise

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Aviva steps in to protect workers hit by pension age rise
BySimon Allin

Aviva has moved to close a potential protection gap opened up by the government's decision to bring forward the increase in the state pension age from 67 to 68.

The move follows concerns that the change could leave employees usually covered by a group income protection (GIP) scheme facing a one-year period between the end of their benefits and their ability to claim their state pension.

Aviva stated a change in the law may be required before GIP policies recognise an increase in the state pension age and warned this could take a number of years given the current political environment.

But the insurance provider has already pledged to pay GIP benefits up to the age of 68 for those affected by the change, saying the additional cost would be absorbed within its current pricing.

A speeding up of the increase in the state pension age, which is due to be phased in between 2037 and 2039, was announced by secretary of state for work and pensions David Gauke on 19 July.

Aviva has written to advisers encouraging them to warn clients of a potential gap in their GIP policies.

Michael Aldridge, innovation director at Bath-based London and Country Mortgages, said: “It is clearly very sensible and good that Aviva can extend that. The danger is not all will potentially be able to do that, and in that case [clients] need to seek advice.

“A lot of people have policies they let sit there and they don’t review regularly enough, and they become inappropriate. I would welcome others doing the same and making sure they are fir for purpose.”