Answered by Michael Englefield
State pension age changes: What’s my new retirement age?
There has indeed been a lot of changes made to the retirement age, especially for women. This is the earliest age at which you can begin to draw the state pension.
The government has provided a retirement age calculator to let you check your state pension age here, but my calculations place your date of birth in 1966, which provides you with a state pension age of 67. If you want to read more on recent increases to the state pension, see below.
The changes to the state pension age are often seen as a recent thing, but it was legislation all the way back in 1995 that paved the way for the retirement age for men and women to be equalised at 65 (it has historically been 60 for women and 65 for men). The Pensions Act 1995 planned an increase in the state pension age for women over the decade to 2020 to 65 to align with that of men.
However, the timetable for this was accelerated under the Pensions Act 2011. Starting from April 2016, when the state pension age for women had already reached 63 under the 1995 legislation, the government increased the speed at which the state pension age for women was rising to match that of men so women will get their state pension at 65 by November 2018.
Women’s state pension age: Rising to 65
All women born between April 6, 1953 and December 5, 1953 will be part of the first cohort that sees their state pension age rise to 65, from 63 as of April 2016. This will be done in gradual phases, with those born towards the beginning of this period retiring at an earlier age than those born at the end of the period.
For instance, a woman born between April 6 and May 5 1953 reached her state pension age on July 6, 2016, at the age of between 63 years and 3 months and 63 years and 2 months.
However, a women born between November 6 and December 5 1953 will have to wait more than two years for her state pension compared to her friend born in April or May. She won’t reach retirement age until November 6, 2018, at the approximate age of 65.
Marriage of equals: When does the state pension age rise to 66 and beyond?
Once the state pension age has been equalised for men and women, current legislation will see it rise for both sexes to 68 in gradual phases, depending on your age.
By October 2020, you’ll have to be 66 to receive your state pension
People born between December 6 1953 and January 5 1954 will get their state pension on March 6, 2019, at an age of between 65 years and 3 months and 65 years and 2 months.
After this, the age will gradually rise towards 66, with people born between October 6, 1954 and April 5, 1960 reaching retirement age on the 66th birthday.
By April 2028, the state pension age will be 67
The Pensions Act 2014 increased the pace at which the state pension age was to rise from 66 to 67.
People born between April 6 and May 5, 1960 will retire at 66 years and 1 month. The retirement age will then rise gradually, with people born between March 6, 1961 and April 5, 1977 retiring on their 67th birthday.
State pension age for anyone born on or after April 6, 1978 is 68
Between 2044 and 2046, the state pension age will rise further, from 67 to 68. Again, this will be achieved gradually. Anyone born between April 6 and May 5, 1977 will retire on May 6, 2044, at or just after their 67th birthday. Anyone born on or after April 6, 1978 won’t reach retirement age until their 68th birthday, which will be in 2046.
The Pensions Act 2014 provides for a review of the state pension age every five years, based on life expectancy figures. The first review must be completed by May 2017.
Why did the state pension age increase?
This is down to increasing longevity. With people living longer than ever before and therefore claiming the state pension for ever-growing periods of time, the government acted to increase the retirement age in line with current life expectancy trends to relieve pressure on the public purse.
The idea is that life expectancy will continue rising as time goes on, thanks to medical breakthroughs, healthier lifestyles and fewer employees in hazardous occupations where the risk of death in service is elevated.
The idea is that everyone should be able to spend a certain proportion of their life drawing on the state pension, and given that younger people today are likely to live longer than their parents and grandparents, the state pension age had to rise to ensure this parity.
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