Britons call for state pension age to be frozen at 66

The state pension age is currently 66, however, this was not always the case. In the past, the state pension age stood at 60 for women and 65 for men, but was changed after a process of age equalisation between the sexes.

However, this is not the end of the planned changes to the state pension age, with further increases expected

While the Government has recently stated it will not be accelerating increases for the time being, the state pension age will rise to 67 and subsequently to 68.

A new petition has taken issue with this prospect, arguing the retirement age should be frozen.

Posted on the Parliament website, the petition is entitled ‘Stop the planned increase in the state pension age, leave it at 66’.

It reads: “We want the Government to reverse plans to increase the age at which people become eligible for the state pension, first to 67, then to 68. 

“We believe the state pension age should remain 66.

“The planned increase was based on life expectancy increases.

“But in Scotland, life expectancy has decreased, and in the rest of the UK, has not gone up as expected.”

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At present, 332 people have signed the petition, meaning it is a long way from getting the signatures it needs.

Some 10,000 signatures are needed for all Parliament petitions before an official Government response is triggered.

A total of 100,000 signatures will be needed before the petition is considered for debate in Parliament.

All petitions on the Parliament website run for six months, and Britons have until September 20, 2023, if they wish to sign this one. 

Under current plans, by the end of 2028, the state pension age will have risen to 67.

A subsequent rise to 68 was scheduled to occur between 2044 and 2046.

However, reports suggested ministers had been contemplating an acceleration to between 2037 and 2039.

Mel Stride, work and pensions secretary, told MPs: “Given the level of uncertainty about the data on life expectancy, labour markets and the public finances, and the significance of these decisions on the lives of millions of people, I am mindful a different decision might be appropriate once these factors are clearer.

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“I therefore plan for a further review to be undertaken within two years of the next parliament to consider the rise to age 68 again.”

Mr Stride added the Government “remains committed” to the principle of the 10-year notice of changes to the state pension age.

He acknowledged the increase in life expectancy has “slowed” since the first state pension age review was carried out in 2017.

The secretary also defended his approach to the matter, adding the Government “continues to provide certainty for those planning for retirement”.

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