UK government is pushing to raise the pension age to 68
Age Scotland has welcomed that proposals to increase the state pension age early to 68 will not now be brought forward.
The government’s planned rise to 67 will still take place between 2026-2028.
The charity had previously warned the UK government’s State Pension Age Review that accelerating increases in the pension age was not the right approach and should be dropped.
Key data in Scotland showed that life expectancy, healthy life expectancy and poverty levels of older people not yet in receipt of the state pension had all been getting worse, so many of the key triggers set by the UK government to justify a rise hadn’t been met.
Age Scotland believed that faster increases in the state pension age would have a significant impact on people in their late 50s and early 60s such as carers, in low-income work, ill health or out of work and unable to find a new job, increasing poverty levels and poor health.
The charity also wants to see more support for older people who choose to stay in the workforce but said accelerating increases in the state pension age was not the answer.
dam Stachura, head of policy and communications at Age Scotland, said: “It will come as a great relief to many people approaching the pension age that it isn’t due to get further out of reach. The proposal to raise it to 68 would be a retrograde step that would have a devastating impact on Scotland’s poorest older people. There key evidence tests for the government just couldn’t be met to justify an earlier than anticipated rise.
“Scotland’s life expectancy is lower than the UK average, our healthy life expectancy is getting worse, and huge numbers of people in their mid 50s to mid 60s are living in poverty.
“Lower paid workers and women are already less likely to have a private pension, meaning they rely solely on their pension to live on in retirement. A rise in the age also presents concerns for those unable to work, as they will be living longer on a lower income before receiving their first pension payment.
“Many would be unable to work longer due to health issues or caring responsibilities, and this would plunge hundreds of thousands more into poverty.
“We need to see more support for older people right now, not less. They have paid into the system and contributed in a variety of ways throughout their lives and should not have to spend later life in poverty or struggling to work due to health problems or vital caring responsibilities.
“However, we know that many people do already choose to work beyond their pension age, either due to choice or financial necessity and we’d encourage more employers to recognise the value of older workers and create strategies to better support them and the wider economy.”