Pension age update as minimum age to rise from 55 to 57 – will you be affected?

State pension age is ‘likely to increase’ in the future says expert

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The change, which has been pencilled in for 2028, will affect most people approaching retirement, although some groups may be able to get out.

This date was chosen to align with the state pension age (SPA) increase from 66 to 67.

This will mean that from 2028, under-57s will not be able to access their pensions without incurring a tax penalty.

There are exceptions, however, notably people forced into retirement by bad health as well as firefighters, police and armed forced, who the Government says “will not be affected by this increase”.

People should also know that the Government has also offered people a loophole to get out of the change affecting them.

Pension savers have until April 2023 to lock in their pension age at 55.

Pension age changes

The national minimum pension age is set to rise from 55 to 57 by 2028 (Image: Getty)

Draft legislation revealed recently that if someone joins a pension scheme with a NMPA of 55 before April 2023, then this age will be set in stone, even if they won’t reach 55 until after 2028.

The measure will affect both men and women as the NMPA applies equally to both genders.

The NMPA was introduced in 2006 and increased from 50 to 55 in 2010.

In 2014, the Government announced its intention to increase the NMPA by two years to 57.

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The measure is part of a wider Government movement to prevent the proportion of people’s lives spent in retirement becoming unsustainably high.

Already, people spend over a third of their lives living in retirement on average, way up from under a quarter which was expected in 1948.

This has placed a high burden on workers who are having to stump up the cash for an ever-higher portion of the population living in retirement.

To illustrate this fact, it has been calculated that whereas the ration of workers to retirees was 6:1 in 1990, this figure will be only 2:1 by 2030.

Unless retirees are to face a drop in living standards, this means the share of an individual worker’s taxes going towards providing a retirement income will treble.

This figure has also been raised due to increasing life expectancies among both men and women.

The cut-off point of April 2023 should give people enough time to organise their finances and plan ahead.

The NMPA gives a minimum age for taking from one’s pension but does not prevent people choosing to delay this and take pension income at a later stage.

To plan ahead of this policy change, the Treasury and HMRC started a joint consultation on the implementation of this earlier this year in February.

The urgency of being given time to plan ahead financially has been highlighted by DWP failings recently.

Thousands of women born in the 1950s were not adequately notified of changes affecting them, leaving them blindsided.

This led to the pension ombudsman finding “maladministration” in the way the DWP handled the state pension age changes.

Not having enough time to plan ahead, many women faced a dire financial situation or had to plunge back into an unforgiving workforce.

William Murphy

William Murphy

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