Concern over raising state pension age
AGE Concern in Suffolk today criticised a call to raise the state pension age to 70 and said people on low incomes would lose out under the proposal.Rhian Beynon, a spokeswoman for Age Concern, spoke out after the Government was urged to solve the pensions crisis by raising the state retirement age to 70.
AGE Concern in Suffolk today criticised a call to raise the state pension age to 70 and said people on low incomes would lose out under the proposal.
Rhian Beynon, a spokeswoman for Age Concern, spoke out after the Government was urged to solve the pensions crisis by raising the state retirement age to 70.
"As far as we are concerned there is no crisis and our state pension is far better than most other countries. If a compulsory retirement age of 70 brought in it would have an adverse affect on people earning low incomes. Studies show they do not tend to live as long as people on higher incomes after retirement. Also people who start work at 16 instead of going on to further education would lose out," she said.
The Pensions Policy Institute said that given the relatively low level of the basic state pension and people's lack of savings, the debate on raising the retirement age could not be put off any longer.
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It said that by raising the retirement age to 70 the basic state pension could be increased to £110 a week from its current level of £75.50 at no extra cost.
Alternatively, it could be kept at its current level for people under 75, but increased to £130 a week for those aged 75 and over.
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Author of the report Alison O'Connell said: "People are living significantly longer. Health and job prospects for the over 65s are improving.
"Working longer can help to fund better retirement income, and the real prize is that, with a higher state pension age, a better state pension can be offered at no extra cost."
But Mrs Benyon added that it is no good simply telling people they must work longer.
"It is no good if people cannot get a job because they face ageism. If people in their 50s were able to get jobs and not be left unemployed than that would be the way forward. We want to campaign for choice so that people have options as they get older. Many old people may not be in paid employment but they still play a vital role in society."
Mrs O' Connell said the higher retirement age could be phased in between 2020 and 2030 giving people time to adjust their work and savings plans.
Only people who were currently under 42 would be affected by the change.