According to the former pensions minister, Steve Webb, the government may be looking to increase the official state pension age to 70 for millions of people who are currently in their 20s. Steve Webb, who was the pensions minister in the coalition government has revealed that documents he has seen by the Department of Work and Pensions have revealed that the government are looking at a 'more aggressive' timetable on state pension age than what they had previously planned.
Potentially, such a change could affect millions of people under the age of 55 and could even bring in an official state pension age of 70 for those people, who are currently aged under 30.
This would be a rise of two years as the current state pension age for those under 30 is 68. This move looks even more likely when you look at the comments made by the new Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement:
'As we look ahead to the next parliament, we will need to ensure we tackle the challenges of rising longevity and fiscal sustainability.'
Talking about the possible rise of the state pension age, former pensions minister Steve Webb said:
'The previous policy strikes a fair balance between expecting people to work longer and allowing people to enjoy a decent retirement. If the government is planning to force tens of millions of people to work to 68, 69 or even 70, then it should be transparent about its plans. This would be a huge shift and should be properly debated, not buried in a technical document seen only by specialists.'
In response, the Department of Work and Pensions have been rather non-committal:
'This work forms part of our research ahead of the first state pension age review. It's important we have a clear understanding of how the current system is working for pensioners before we undertake the review.'
With the possible rise of the state pension age, the continuation of auto enrolment, the potential ending of the pensions triple lock and the introduction of the Lifetime ISA, it looks like 2017 could be an interesting year for pensions.