The State Pension age is currently 66 and two further increases are set out in legislation: a gradual rise to 67 for those born on or after April 1960; and a gradual rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 1977.
In March 2016, John Cridland CBE, the former Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) was appointed by the government to lead an independent review of the state pension age. The review made a number of key recommendations including bringing forward the increase in the State Pension age to 68 over a two-year period starting in 2037 and ending in 2039.
The Department for Work and Pensions has previously confirmed that the Government intends to follow the recommendation made by the independent review to bring forward the State Pension age changes, seven years earlier than planned. The Pensions Act 2014 requires government to regularly review State Pension age, and in accordance with this law, the latest Review must be published by 7 May 2023.
These proposed changes will not affect anyone born before 5th April 1970. However, those born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978 would see their State Pension age increase to between 67 and 68 depending on their date of birth. Those born after 6 April 1978 will see no change to their state pension age which was already set at 68. These changes will require new legislation following the next government State Pension age review.
The independent review also cited some interesting background information addressing the need for these increases to be based on increasing life expectancy and an ageing population. For example, ‘…. in 1917 King George V sent the first telegrams to those celebrating their 100th birthday. 24 were sent that year. In 2016 around 6,000 people will have received a card from Her Majesty the Queen. In 2050, we expect over 56,000 people to reach this milestone’.