UK - Conservative Party plans to accelerate the increase in the state retirement age have been backed by senior industry figures.
If elected, the party said it would look at raising the state pension age for men to 66 from 2016. The plan would also consider raising state pension age for women to 66, but this would not happen under the same time frame.
Under current government plans the retirement age for women will rise to 65, in line with men, between 2010 and 2020. The unified pension age will then increase to 66 by 2026 and 68 by 2046.
However, in an extract from a speech he will give at the annual party conference today, Tory treasury spokesman George Osborne said: "Most experts now think [the current proposals] are too far off...our aim is to bring forward the date when the pension age rises."
"No one who is a pensioner today - or approaching retirement soon - will be affected, but this is how we can afford increasing the basic state pension for all."
The Conservatives claim an 18-month increase in the state pension age would reduce government borrowing by around £20bn (US$31.8bn) a year.
National Association of Pension Funds chief executive Joanne Segars backed the proposals but warned difficulties surrounding the increase in women's retirement ages must not be overlooked.
EEF head of pension policy David Yeandle added that raising the state pension age "seems a sensible approach" provided an earlier date is accompanied by a commitment on when the basic state pension will be increased in line with average earnings rather than prices.
Standard Life head of pension policy John Lawson added a 45-year-old man earning £200 a month could increase their private pension by "nearly 10%" if the retirement age was increased.
Association of British Insurers director of life and savings Maggie Craig said the "bold move" was a "good first step".
However, independent pensions consultant Ros Altmann was sceptical.
She said: "This doesn't appear to be a well thought through policy initiative. There are far better and quicker ways to save money on pensions without making problems worse for women and exacerbating the difference between public and private sector workers even more - as these proposals do."
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