• Lady Altmann: Moving the goalposts?

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    Minister for Pensions Ros Altmann has announced there will be an independent review of the state pension age by 2017.

    Making her maiden speech in the House of Lords, Lady Altmann said risking longevity means successive generations are spending longer in retirement.

    “This is, of course, pretty good news! However there are also huge cost implications for State Pensions, which is why we will have an independent review of the State Pension age by 2017,” she said.

    Lady Altmann went on to say that the review will consider not only rising life expectancy but also wider social, occupational and gender factors. She said the current state pension system is one of the most complex in the world.

    “State pension provision has undermined private pension saving, as too many pensioners just ended up on means-tested benefits that penalised their private income. The new state pension will significantly reduce pensioner means-testing,” she added.

    Lady Altmann said this would allow people to find out what to expect from the State Pension, so they can plan any additional personal retirement income they may want or need on top.

    The Pensions Act 2014 means the state pension age is reviewed at least once every five years. In addition, under the Pensions Act 2007 the state pension age for men and women will increase from 67 to 68 between 2044 and 2046.
    British Gazette comment: In the political dictionary, the word “review” generally means cut costs. In this case probably raising the retirement age yet again.

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