Centre for Ageing Better responds to plans to increase the State Pension age

24 July 2017

The raising of the State Pension age will mean people who are in their mid-40s now, and generations after them, will have to work for an extra year until they are 68.

Dr Anna Dixon, Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, commented on the government’s proposal:

“If people are to work for longer, urgent action is needed from government and employers to make the labour market fit for purpose.

Currently older workers are not properly supported at work, and there is a rapid fall in employment rates over the age of 50, with a marked increase in perceived job insecurity. By the year before people reach State Pension age, over half are not working and there are one million people aged 50 to 64 who would like to work but are not, most having left due to poor health, redundancy, or caring responsibilities. Employers must introduce flexible working arrangements that allow people to balance these pressures.

Inequalities in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy mean that many people will find it impossible to work until State Pension Age, and without additional support or mitigating policies from government will face financial difficulties and hardship in later years. More radical benefit reform should be considered for those with long-term health issues and disabilities.

It is essential too that as our workforce grows older, the issue of ageism and discrimination in the workplace is tackled, including making sure older workers are treated fairly, their contributions recognised, and that they are offered opportunities for development and progression.

With the right action and support now, older workers can make a valuable contribution to the workplace and UK economy, and reap the personal benefits of working in later years, including being more financially secure and socially connected.”