Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has outlined plans to raise the state pension age for men to 66 from 2016, up to ten years earlier than planned. The pension age for women will rise to 65 by 2020.
Under the government's existing plans, the state pension age for men will rise gradually from 65 to 68 between 2024 and 2046. For women it will gradually rise from 60 to 65 over ten years from 2010.
If implemented this will affect income protection, life, critical illness and personal accident policies in two ways. Firstly, they assume a retirement age of 65 so will not accept older people. More importantly, the cover does not pay out to 'retirement age' but to a set future age, usually 65. So if you are in your forties or younger, your policy will often only pay to 65 - but if you claim in ten years' time, the policy will only pay out till 65, not your new retirement age of 66.