State pension age rise brought forward

The government has announced that the planned increase in state pension age from 67 to 68 will now be phased in between 2037 and 2039, 7 years earlier than planned.

The rise will affect six million people, born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978 (currently aged between 39 and 47).

The government has also committed to regular reviews of the state pension age in the years ahead, which raises the prospect of further rises. A recent report by the government’s actuary department suggested that workers now under the age of 30 may have to wait until 70 before they qualify for a state pension.

The state pension was changed to a flat rate system in April 2016, intended to simplify the previous system of basic state pension, SERPS, State Second Pension and pension credits. A full flat rate state pension is currently £159.55 per week (2017/18 tax year), based on 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits.

The state pension currently increases each year in line with what is known as the “triple lock” – the lower of inflation (measured by CPI), the rise in average national earnings (NAE) or 2.5%. The triple lock has been the subject of much debate, as the underpin of 2.5% means the state pension has risen much faster than inflation or wage growth in recent years.

You can check your state pension forecast online at https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension, although bear in mind this may not be amended immediately to show the change in state pension age.

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