The Government must consider those who will struggle to work into later life when changing the State Pension Age, according to a new Age UK report.
Working later, waiting longer
A rise in average life expectancy has driven a similar rise in the State Pension Age in recent years. It’s now set to reach 67 by 2028 for both men and women.
Thankfully, most people will live to 67 and beyond, but there are still many who are less likely to reach later life in good health and who may not have many years of retirement to enjoy.
Who could lose out?
The report, Working later, waiting longer, takes an in-depth look at the people who are likely to lose out badly from the higher State Pension Age. These people might be:
- In physically demanding jobs such as the building trade which they will struggle to continue doing
- Caring for loved ones, which has caused them to scale down or give up their work in mid life
- Experiencing on-going periods of ill health themselves.
Sarah, 53, cares for her mother who has Alzheimer’s and works part-time in an administrative role. Her mother is likely to need increasing care in the next few years. Sarah is not sure what she’ll be able to do about this.
She expects the State Pension to be her main source of retirement incomeand says she will not be able to retire until she receives it. She worries that the rise in the State Pension Age will ‘cut the options down’.
Problems like Sarah's will only get worse if the Government decides to raise the State Pension Age further.
Over a third of 55-64 year old women, and around a fifth of men this age have no private pension savings at all, and as many as 71% of single pensioners currently receive at least half their income from State Pensions and benefits.
Many middle aged carers also face real hardship for having to reduce or give up work to support a loved one. Benefits to help carers do not compensate for the earned income they gave up, so they are often left on a low income and with few savings when they themselves come to retire.
Facing up to reality
Age UK is urging the Government to factor in the reality facing people like this before making any decisions on the State Pension Age. The Charity is also calling for better support and more opportunities so that people can stay in a job that works for them until they reach their State Pension Age.
And it is asking independent reviewer John Cridland and his team to interrogate the full range of options available to help protect older people who are most affected by State Pension Age rises.