UK - The government has today detailed plans on how the state pension age will rise to 66 by 2020.
A paper issued by the Department for Work and Pensions confirmed the increase to 66 will be brought forward, so that the SPA will rise from 65 to 66 between December 2018 and April 2020 for both men and women.
This has accelerated the increase to 66 by six years to 2020, instead of 2026 as legislated for in the Pensions Act 2007.
The DWP said the increase will be phased in at a rate of three months' increase in SPA every four months.
Pensions minister Steve Webb (pictured) said: "We are all living longer than ever before and it is important for government to take this into account when developing policy. As longevity increases it is only fair that costs are shared among the generations. Accordingly, the government has decided to bring forward the increase in state pension age to 66."
The government also confirmed it will adjust the equalisation timetable from April 2016 so that women's SPA will reach 65 by November 2018. It said this will also affect the minimum qualifying age for Pension Credit, which is based on, and rising in line with, women's SPA.
Under Labour government, the Pensions Act 2007 legislated for the SPA to rise for both men and women to 66 by 2026, to 67 by 2036, and to 68 by 2046.
Webb added: "Although women will experience the rise in the state pension age more quickly than previously planned, they will still draw the state pension for longer, and our ‘triple guarantee' means someone retiring today on a full basic state pension will receive £15,000 more over their retirement than they would have done under the old prices link."
The DWP said this decision means a total of 4.9 million people in Great Britain will have their SPA revised. Of these, 4.4 million men and women will have an increase in SPA of a year or less.
The government anticipates the change will result in £30.4bn of savings between 2016/17 and 2025/26, which it said would otherwise need to be met by the working-age population.
The changes were first announced in the government's Spending Review on October 20.
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