Today has seen the release of a Government-commissioned review by former Confederation of British Industry director general John Cridland into the state pension age.
The Government has already announced plans to raise the state pension age from 65 to 66 by October 2020, and then to 67 by 2028. Today’s report recommends that the state pension age be increased from 67 to 68 between 2037 and 2039 and also recommends abandoning the state pension triple lock.
While increasing state pension age on Cridland’s timetable would cut state pension spending as a proportion of GDP by 0.3 per cent compared to Office for Budget Responsibility projections, removing the triple would further reduce state pension spending from 6.7 per cent of GDP to 5.9 per cent by 2066/67, Cridland argues.
“In the longer term the retention of the triple lock is forecast to become a very significant factor in the cost of the State Pension. It is estimated that it would be responsible for 0.9 per cent of GDP in 2066/67. This will raise questions of intergenerational fairness as between those in work and those in retirement.
“The longevity link appears close to the limit of what can be saved on state pension spending through increases in the state pension age. Further savings to ensure fiscal sustainability are more appropriately delivered by moving in the future to uprating the pension by earnings.
“We therefore recommend that the triple lock is withdrawn in the next Parliament.”
Responding to the publication of the Cridland Review on the State Pension age, Charles Cotton, performance and reward adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said:
“Ensuring we build a pensions system that is both affordable and sustainable is an ongoing challenge and we welcome the report’s honest insights into the challenges that the pensions system faces. Raising the state pension age is a sensible move in order to balance these competing challenges, and the introduction of a ‘mid-life MOT’ is very welcome. This will help people plan for retirement by assessing their lifestyle and retirement expectations as well as their skills. It will not only help set their expectations but also give them opportunity to invest in the skills and training they may need to support themselves in their later working life.
“CIPD research shows that knowing when people are going to retire is an important consideration in retirement decisions, and this has implications for workplace planning. The extra clarity that this report brings should spur employers to look at their workforce and ensure they are doing everything they can to support workers who want to work up to, and potentially beyond, state pension age. This includes everything from eliminating unconscious age bias in their recruitment and reward processes, to ensuring that their workplace is set up to accommodate older workers, to helping them transition out of the workforce in a way that suits them.
“The Government also has a role to play in investing in physical and mental health care to help people to carry on working later in life. It was a concerning finding of our research that many employees were not aware of what they were entitled to and when under the state pension, and we therefore welcome the recommendation in the review for the Government to directly communicate the changes to those who are affected.”