Belfast Telegraph

Government vows to 'fast-track' state pension age-hike

By Nicky Burridge

More people are likely to have to wait until they are 68 before they can claim a state pension under Government plans to speed up increases to the retirement age.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith suggested workers may have to accept quicker increases to the state pension age than previously planned, as the Government works to tackle the budget deficit.

The previous government had set out plans to increase the state pension age to 66 by 2024, and to 68 by 2046.

The Conservatives said before the election that they would bring forward the increase in the age people can claim their state pension to 66 by 2016, and the Government is currently carrying out a review on the issue.

But it is also speculated that it could bring forward the increase in the state pension age to 68, possibly by 2036, which would be 10 years sooner than under the current timetable.

Mr Duncan Smith told the Daily Mail yesterday: "We have to make the argument for it sooner. The truth is deferment of one year will add 1% to GDP, and it will add up to 10% on your pension pot. The current plan to raise it to 68 ...we think could be accelerated. It seems silly to wait."

He also suggested that the age at which people can claim their state pension could be indexed to rise in line with increases in life expectancy, as in Denmark.