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State Pension Age hike hits disadvantaged hardest

Published on 29 November 2011 03:30 PM

State Pension age hike hits disadvantaged hardest

In response to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director for Age UK said:

On raising the State Pension age

'The decision to speed up the timetable to increase the State Pension age to 67 will come as a bitter blow to many people fast approaching retirement, especially those in ill-health, caring for relatives and those out of work.

'Age UK recognises that as life expectancy increases it is reasonable to consider increases to State Pension age and longer working lives, however this decision has been based on no published detailed analysis. Average life expectancy must not be the only factor that is considered as, at the moment, the huge disparities in healthy life expectancy across the country means that the poorest socio-economic groups will be required to sacrifice proportionately more of their retirement.

'Age UK is calling for an Independent Pensions Advisory Commission to be set up to ensure pensions decisions are based on all the relevant factors including inequalities in life expectancy, employment opportunities, trends in private provision and  prospects for older workers. This week, the Government has announced an increase in State Pension age and a delay in auto-enrolment for some people rather than looking at retirement provision in the whole. Any changes in State Pension age should be made in the context of a strategy to improve health inequalities; a timetable for the reduction and abolition of pensioner poverty and a strategy for achieving this; a firm commitment to private pension reform; and improvement to state pensions.'

On Consumer Price Index on the Basic State Pension and Pension Credit

'We welcome the Government's decision to maintain its commitment to increase the basic State Pension by the triple guarantee so that it will rise by 5.2% in line with September's CPI. This will mean an extra £5.30 a week in pensioners' pockets which will help towards meeting the rising costs of living.

'We also welcome the Government's decision to increase the standard amount of Pension Credit by the same amount. However this cost will be met through reductions in savings credit provided to pensioners with slightly higher incomes.'

On the Government's review of Employment Legislation:

'We will be examining the Government's review very carefully to ensure that the overall package does not allow employers to force older workers out of the workplace, or be used as a backdoor way to reintroduce forced retirement, which the government has only just abolished as discriminatory.'

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.

We provide free information, advice and support to over 5 million people; commercial products and services to over 1 million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters; health and well being; home and care; work and learning; and travel and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

Media contact: Anne-Marie Doohan
Telephone: 020 303 31444
Out of office hours: 07071 243 243

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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