Universal state pension age review ‘a breath of fresh air’

The review is tasked with providing ideas to overhaul the pension system
The review is tasked with providing ideas to overhaul the pension system

The possibility of replacing the universal state pension age with something more tailored to people’s individual needs has been raised in a Government-commissioned review.

Former CBI director general John Cridland was appointed as the Government’s independent reviewer of state pension age in March and on Thursday a consultation was launched, seeking views on the state pension system of the future.

The review, described as a “breath of fresh air” by those representing older people, is tasked with making recommendations on a suitable state pension age, with the aim of supporting affordability, fairness and fuller working lives.

The consultation document, which raises a wide range of questions about people’s retirement, asks: “What are the alternatives to a universal state pension age?”

The document said for many people, state pension age can be the most significant reference point in later life planning but a number of other factors are also increasingly relevant.

These factors include some people having more flexible working patterns, living for longer and also having increased caring responsibilities for elderly family members.

The possibility of getting early access to the new state pension for those who have had a long working life was also raised.

The consultation also seeks to find out more about how any state pension age changes affect the self-employed, whether someone’s ethnicity affects their pension outcomes and how lower pension outcomes for women can be taken into account.