House of Commons debate: Raising the state pension age

06 February 2023

Late Wednesday (1 February 2023) afternoon, raising the state pension age to 68 was discussed in the House of Commons. The Hansard record has a recounting of the debate for all to read. The debate has relevant e-petitions linked that call for an increase to the state pensions amount and to reduce the age at which it is received.

Nigel Mills, Conservative MP for Amber Valley, opened proceedings making mention of the periodic review of state pension age and the bringing forward of the date at which the state pension age is 67. Mills indicated that they were in agreement with the principle that we should spend a third of our adult lives in retirement and should life expectancy increase the state pension age should also.

However it was pointed out life expectancy is now stalling or potentially even decreasing in some areas such as Scotland.

The discussion went on to make the following points and cases:

  • Mills asked the government to ensure that changes are made with ten years notice to allow savers to plan for changes in circumstances
  • He also asked that only one change is made every ten years, not multiple changes
  • There is no reason to include state pension age planning in the budget process as it does not effect the budget for many years to come
  • The government has not yet had the chance to review the impact of raising the state pension age to 67
  • Government reviews are being released slowly and is not a transparent enough process
  • The raising of the state pension age from 60 to 67 for some women means a loss of between £59,00 and £77,000 in state pension payments. The Conservative MP for Dover points out that it would be better for workers to understand there retirement age as early as possible in their career so that adequate planning can be undertaken
  • How is raising the state pension age balanced with the employability of older workers? What can be done to tackle age discrimination?
  • Sir Stephen Timms pressed Laura Trott, parliamentary under-secretary of state for work and pensions, as to why reports were released before the last six-yearly review, but had not yet been released this time?

With the success of automatic enrolment bringing many workers into pension saving schemes, it leaves question marks over the long-term viability of the state pension. However, with this being only ten years in, we are a long way from this becoming a reality. We must now wait for further information to be released by the government. Perhaps something will be teased in the budget?

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