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Former pensions minister calls for flexible state pension starting age

In order to claim state pension, from October 6 2020, individuals must have reached their 66th birthday. Anybody below that age will not be able to access it.

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The employment rate of 65-year old women has increased significantly over the last two years
The employment rate of 65-year old women has increased significantly over the last two years

The state pension age for women has increased from 60, in March 2010, to 65, in October 2018, but from October 6 2020, both men and women must be 66 prior to being granted access to their state pension.

 

However, former pensions minister Ros Altmann is calling on the government to consider a more flexible age range for starting state pension payments.

 

She said: “The rationale for rising state pension age rests on increases in average life expectancy across the UK. However, the average life expectancy masks an enormous difference between regions, occupations and social groups. The most recent figures show an almost 20-year differential in healthy life expectancy in the UK… Currently, the National Insurance pension system does not recognise this.”

 

The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) said the increase in the state pension age from 60 to 62, for women, actually led to an additional six in 100 women aged between 60 and 61 being in paid employment.

 

Additionally, the employment rate of 65-year old women has increased significantly over the last two years, as they have no longer been able to claim the state pension. It was 21 percent in the third quarter of 2018, but by the second quarter of 2020, it was 35 percent.

 

Altmann added: “There has long been a strong case for considering a more flexible age range for starting state pension payments and the pandemic has made this case even stronger. It could help many women and many who are seriously ill or need to care for loved ones. I do hope the government will give this urgent consideration.”

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