The state pension age should be raised faster and further than currently planned to fund higher state pensions, reduce public debt and reflect the population trend of longer, healthier lives according to a new report, Working longer, living better: from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
While the government has already legislated for the state pension age to rise from 65 in 2020 to 66 by 2026, 67 by 2036 and 68 by 2046, there is a fundamental question as to whether this goes far enough, particularly given the sharp rise in UK public debt. The report suggests that the government needs to implement a phased increase to 70 by 2046.
The report also identifies a wider programme of change that requires government, employers and employees to embrace new approaches to the delivery of health, social care and adult skills. This would include scrapping the increasingly anachronistic default retirement age for employees.
Jon Sibson of PwC says, "While the Government has responsibility for changing the legislation they must also encourage a change in attitudes and behaviours among individuals and employers. The default retirement age should be abolished and public services and policies reshaped to promote extended working life. There will also need to be policies focused on employment support and the right non-pension benefits.”
The retirement age in the future affects how life, income protection, critical illness and personal accident policies are arranged now.