Call to raise state pension age to 75 by 2035

A new report by a right-wing think tank calls for the State Pension Age to be raised to 75.

jar filled with coins titled 'retirement'


The State Pension Age should rise to 75 by 2035, according to a new report by a right-wing think tank, which says retirement should be viewed as a gradual process aided by flexible working.

The State Pension Age is set to rise to 66 by 2020 and to 67 between 2026 and 2028 and to 68 between 2044 and 2046.

The report from the Centre for Social Justice, which is headed by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan-Smith, proposes accelerating the SPA increase to 70 by 2028 and then 75 by 2035 as a way of cutting pension costs. Critics say it will particularly affect those in manual jobs and will mean many people effectively pay into a pension that they will never live long enough to draw. Office for National Statistics figures shows growing numbers of people in their 70’s, 80’s and beyond are still working, in some cases to top up their pensions.

The report, Ageing Confidently, cites research showing what make workplaces more welcoming for older employees, with flexible working and part-time roles being the most popular options, followed by retraining opportunities and support for physical and mental health.

It justifies its recommendation due to people living longer, the positive impact of work on health and the need to reduce pension poverty as more people live longer.

“A large proportion of older people are capable of working and want to work, and it is crucial that these people are provided with the support to do so. Evidence suggests that older people are just as productive as younger people,” says the report. “Working longer has the potential to increase private retirement savings and reduce poverty amongst pensioners. The opportunities available for older people in the world of work must be increased.”

The report says  retirement should be “reconceptualised as a gradual process”. “Employers should offer phased retirement options to ease workers’ transition into retirement,” it states.

Other recommendations include:

– more training for GPs in occupational health
– a call for employers to be more aware of mental health issues
– a call for people over 55 to be treated as a priority group and given tailored support via the Work and Health Programme and JobCentre Pluses
– the strengthening of the right to request flexible working to make it a day one right. Workers currently need to have been with an employer for 26 weeks before they can make a request
– a Personal Learner Account to be run by the National Retraining Scheme
– the introduction of employee-tailored holistic Mid-Life MOTs where employers can discuss wealth, work and health. This should include discussion about opportunities for flexibility, workplace adjustments and training opportunities, says the report
– the introduction of an ‘Age Confident’ employer scheme that would work similarly to the Disability Confident scheme. The report says: “This scheme would highlight the benefits of employing a diverse workforce and work to break down barriers and offer solutions and support for all employers and employees.”
– encouragement for employers to model inclusive recruitment. It says: “Job advertisements should use age neutral language and recruitment managers should be trained to recognise and challenge biases.”

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