State pension age increases occur this week – will it affect you? | Personal Finance

State pension ages have been steadily rising over the last decade and the current state pension age is 65. It will increase to 66 by October 2020. Obviously, the date a person hits state pension age depends on their date of birth as well as their gender in come cases. Currently, the state pension is planned to rise to 68 over the coming years.

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The state pension age is regularly reviewed by the government to try and ensure that it is as affordable and fair as possible.

Despite a recent stagnation, life expectancy has been rising in the UK for several years, meaning people are having longer retirements than expected.

According to government figures, when the state pension was introduced in 1948, 65-year-olds could expect to spend 13.5 years in receipt of it, this would cover approximately 23 percent of their adult life.

In 2017, a 65 year old could expect to live another 22.8 years, or 33.6 percent of their adult life.

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State pension age

Changes to state pension age occur this week (Image: GETTY)

Government

The government are committed to raising state pension age over the coming years (Image: GETTY)

This has been exacerbated by the latest projections from the Office for National Statistics.

Their research details that the number of people over state pension age in the UK is expected to grow by a third between 2017 and 2042, from 12.4 million to 16.9 million.

Under the original law, the state pension age was due to increase to 68 between 2044 and 2046.

However, following a recent review, the government announced that they plan to bring the timetable forward. The state pension is now due to hit 68 between 2037 and 2039.

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For the upcoming years however, the state pension age should remain predictable and fairly stable.

The government detail that no one born on or before 5 April 1970 will see a change to their current proposed state pension age.

Those born in the 1950s however will need to be aware of coming changes. For both men and women born between 6 June 1954 and 5 July 1954, state pension age will be reached on 6 March 2020 which is this Friday.

For anyone unsure of their exact date, the government provide a state pension calculator. This calculator will tell the user the exact date that they will hit state pension age.

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Debt levels among pensioners have risen in recent years (Image: EXPRESS)

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Changes to state pensions have been a problematic issue for the government. Many feel the amounts paid by the state pension are simply not enough to fund life in retirement.

The changes to the state pension age has also faced fierce backlash from specific groups who feel that the changes are unfair, with the WASPI group being a clear example.

The government have stood by their decisions, detailing that is is an appropriate outcome considering the circumstances, as David Gauke, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, detailed: 

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Retirement across Europe

Retirement varies across Europe (Image: EXPRESS)

“I want Britain to be the best country in the world in which to grow old, where everyone enjoys the dignity and security they deserve in retirement.

“Since 1948 the State Pension has been an important part of society, providing financial security to all in later life.

“As life expectancy continues to rise and the number of people in receipt of State Pension increases, we need to ensure that we have a fair and sustainable system that is reflective of modern life and protected for future generations.

“Combined with our pension reforms that are helping more people than ever save into a private pension and reducing pensioner poverty to a near record low, these changes will give people the certainty they need to plan ahead for retirement.”