Moving the retirement age goalposts

Moving the retirement age goalposts

With many of us struggling to make provision for our retirement and old age it seems that we are hampered by the Government continuing to adjust the age at which we can claim our State Pension.

George Osborne confirmed in his Autumn Statement that the State Pension age will continue to rise.  He said “The best way to afford generous pensioner benefits is to raise the age in line with life expectancy. That allows us to maintain a triple lock on the value of the State Pension.”

It will rise to 66 for men and women by October 2020 and to 67 between 2026 and 2028 as laid down in law.  It is then expected to rise to 68 between 2046 and 2048.  However, these dates may be revised as longevity data changes.

The Government plans to review the limits every six years starting in May 2017.  It promises always to give at least 10 years notice of any changes.

Many other countries have introduced a policy of adjusting the pension age in line with life expectancy.  According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Slovenia has the lowest State Pension age among the 34 member countries, at just below 59 followed by Turkey Luxembourg, Iceland, Israel and Norway who have the highest at 67.

British workers have the shortest retirements in any major EU country despite significant improvements in life expectancy, a recent international study shows.

French women lead the developed world in retirement with an average of 27.4 years still to live after stopping work – more than five years longer than those in the UK owing both to earlier retirement and longer lifespan.

Although French men now live less long overall than their British counterparts, they still have almost three and a half years more retirement because they leave the workforce earlier.

Britons are also able to enjoy less time retired than their counterparts in Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark, according to the study by the OECD, the club of the world’s most advanced industrial nations.

Overall the OECD said there had been “remarkable” improvements in life expectancy across the developed world which has grown by a decade on average in the space of a generation.

The standard retirement age of 65 for men and 60 for women has recently been abolished in Britain leading to a surge in the number of older workers.

There are now almost nine million people working past what was once retirement age – around one in three of the total workforce.

Among non-EU members states in the OECD, British workers also have shorter retirements than those in Australia Canada and Switzerland but, significantly, not the United States.