Two reports for the government published today - one by John Cridland, the other an analysis for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - have raised the prospect of millions of people working longer to qualify for a state pension.
The report by Cridland (pictured) - a former head of the CBI, who was appointed to review the State Pension age in March 2016 - has proposed those under the age of 45 may have to work a year longer than they currently expect, to 68.
Cridland has recommended bringing the change to the state pension age forward to 68 over a two-year period - starting in 2037 and ending in 2039 - which would mean anyone currently under the age of 45 having to work for an extra year.
He also suggested there should be no move in the state pension age from 68 to 69 before 2047 at the earliest, that the pension age should never rise by more than one year in each 10-year period and that the triple-lock guarantee be ended in the next parliament.
Meanwhile the analysis for the DWP, which was undertaken by the Government Actuary's Department (GAD) has suggested workers under the age of 30 may not receive a pension until the age of 70. The government is due to make a decision on both reports by May.
The purpose of the GAD report was to analyse whether those reaching the state pension age in the future can expect to spend a certain proportion of adult life receiving the state pension.
Pensions minister Richard Harrington had requested the GAD analyse two scenarios to give the government a range of examples it can use in considering its options for the review:
* People spending 33.3% of their adult life (20 years of age onwards) in receipt of the state pension in the future, which reflects the experiences of those reaching state pensions age over the last 10 years.
* People spending 32% of their adult life in receipt of the state pension in the future, which reflects the experiences of those reaching state pension age over the last 20 years.
The report found that, for people to spend an average 32.0% of their life in retirement, the state pension age must increase to 68 between 2028 and 2030, to 69 between 2040 and 42 and to 70 between 2054 and 2056.
The state pension age is currently set to increase from 67 to 68 between 2044 and 2046 with no further rises set beyond that.
In October 2016, Cridland published an interim report that spoke of "smoothing the transition" between working life and retirement. In his final report today, Cridland tackled this issue and suggested a means-tested benefit for pensions should be set one year below state pension age when it reaches 68, for a defined group of people who are unable to work due to ill health or because of caring responsibilities.
Additionally, Cridland recommended the conditionality under Universal Credit should be adjusted for people approaching state pension age, to enable a smoother transition into retirement. He recommended this should be included in the design of Universal Credit as it evolves currently and should also be in place by, at the latest, the point at which the state pension age rises to 68.
To better plan for the future, the report also recommended a ‘Mid-life MOT' that should be facilitated by employers and by the government using online support and through the National Careers Service.
According to TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady, ending the triple lock while pushing up the State pension age would be a "stealth cut to the future incomes of workers who are today in their 30s and 40s".
"Hiking up the state pension age will hit low paid workers the hardest," she added. "And it will punish those who become too sick to work."
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