State pension: Rishi Sunak urged to ‘allow early access’ to reduced sum from 60

Gareth Shaw advises on building entitlement to state pension

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State Pension age is currently set at 66 for most people, following a series of changes in recent years. While traditionally men could receive the state pension at 65, and women at 60, a process of equalisation meant by November 2018, this was set at 65. Subsequent changes have seen a gradual, staggered increase to a state pension age of 66. 

At present, the earliest a person will be able to receive their state pension is when reaching state pension age.

If retiring before this age, then the Government states individuals will need to wait to receive their sum.

However, some individuals are dissatisfied with the current set-up, and have petitioned the Government to make changes.

A petition entitled: “Allow early access to a reduced state pension from the age of 60” has been posted on the official Parliament website.

READ MORE: State pension dismay as 500,000 miss out on boost

state pension age

State pension: Rishi Sunak urged to ‘allow early access’ to reduced sum from 60 (Image: Getty)

It calls for an alteration to the current Government policy on early retirement and entitlement to the state pension.

The petition reads: “Provided a person has adequate qualifying NI contributions for a state pension, and has sufficient private pension/other income to show they will not need to rely on welfare, it should be possible to take a reduced state pension from the age of 60.

“Some people are eligible for a private workplace pension before state retirement age, and would like to retire early, but cannot afford to without a state pension top up.

“An early state pension reduced pro rata for every year earlier it is taken could enable this.”

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The petition appears to address the issue of support for the economy, which some may argue could reduce if older people take an early retirement.

However, the document asserts the retired may be able to contribute to the economy in other ways.

This could include part-time work, and the income tax paid on pensions.

It even suggests the purchase of services including home improvements which make use of capital released from pension funds.

state pension UK

State Pension UK: What is State Pension? (Image: EXPRESS)

For those who are retiring early at present, with the state pension unavailable, they may have to look towards other sources of income.

Under current rules, individuals can usually access their personal or workplace pension pot from the age of 55 onwards. 

Some may be able to take money out before this age in the following circumstances:

  • If they are retiring early because of ill health
  • If they had the right to do so under the scheme joined before April 6, 2006

The pension pot a person built up will probably be smaller if they retire early.

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This is due to it having less time to increase in value, and this should be borne in mind by those leaving the workforce. 

At present, the petition on early access to the state pension has only garnered 122 signatures, meaning it has a way to go before an official response.

It is only at 10,000 signatures that the Government will respond to any petition published on the Parliament website.

If the petition were to reach 100,000 signatures, it would be considered for debate in Parliament.

Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on the matter. 

Harry Byrne

Harry Byrne

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