Independent review of the state pension age

28 April 2017

John Cridland CBE was appointed in March 2016 to carry out an independent review into factors affecting the future state pension age timetable, as set out in the Pensions Act 2014.

Geographical extent – The Pensions Act 2014 covers England, Scotland and Wales only. The Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 covers Northern Ireland.

To follow is a summary of the recommendations made in the report:


  • State pension age should rise to age 68 over a two year period starting in 2037 and ending in 2039.
  • State pension age should not increase more than one year in any ten year period.

Triple lock

  • The triple lock should be withdrawn in the next Parliament.

Flexibility within a universal state pension age

  • The main means-tested benefit for pensioners should be set one year below state pension age from the point at which the increase to 68 is introduced, for a defined group of people who are unable to work through ill health or because of caring responsibilities.
  • The conditionality under Universal Credit should be adjusted for people approaching state pension age, to enable a smoother transition into retirement.

Supporting working past state pension age

  • People who defer their pension should have the option to be rewarded through a lump sum once they start drawing their state pension.
  • People over state pension age should be able to part drawdown their state pension – leaving the balance to benefit from the deferral arrangements.

Supporting carers

  • All employers should have eldercare policies in place which set out a basic care offer.
  • A system of Statutory Carers' Leave for people with caring responsibilities should be introduced, possibly based on the Statutory Sick Pay model, for perhaps up to 5 days, to enable informal carers to provide emergency care. This should be introduced as soon as possible, but at least 10 years before state pension age increases to 68.

Mid-life MOT

  • People should be able to access a mid-life MOT and that this should be facilitated by employers and by the Government using online support and through the National Careers Service. Work on this should begin immediately.

Contribution of older workers as trainers

  • The Government and employers should make more use of older workers as apprenticeship mentors and trainers – passing on skills from one generation to the next. Work on this should begin immediately.


  • The Government should seek to use its partnerships with stakeholders to reach a wide range of people.
  • The review notes that take-up of certain National Insurance credits is much lower than it could be. There should also be steps taken by government to ensure that people can build as much state pension they can.

Automatic enrolment review

  • In addition to the review there is hope that the automatic enrolment review will prioritise improving pension coverage for women. One option based on the Swiss model is that couples could be given the option to combine their private pension savings into a joint pot, to help mitigate disadvantage caused by one partner taking time out of the labour market. The review suggests that the automatic enrolment review takes this idea into consideration.

You can read the full report here - Independent review of the state pension age - Smoothing the Transition