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Changes to the state pension age are confirmed


The Government has published details of its plans to increase the state pension age (SPA) to 66 by 2020.


The change was announced by the Chancellor George Osborne in the Comprehensive Spending Review last month.


In 2007, the Labour Government followed the recommendations of Lord Turner's Pensions Commission and decided that the SPA should rise: to 66 by 2026, to 67 by 2036 and to 68 by 2046.


However, the Coalition has brought forward the plan on the grounds that people are living longer and state pension costs have become unsustainable at current levels.


As a result, the SPA for women will now rise to 65 by November 2018 and then again to 66 in April 2020, when an extra year will also be added to the SPA for men.


The rise to 66 will be achieved by increasing the SPA by three months, every four months.


Confirming the change, Minister of State for Pensions, Steve Webb, said: ‘We are all living longer than ever before and it is important for Government to take this into account when developing policy.


‘As longevity increases it is only fair that costs are shared among the generations. Accordingly, the Government has decided to bring forward the increase in State Pension age to 66.’


However, some experts have warned that around five million people in their 50s could lose up to £14,000 each if the Government proceeds with the plans.


Ros Altmann, of the over-50s group Saga and a former Government pensions adviser, said: ‘These changes are dramatically unfair and completely unacceptable. They penalise at least half a million women making them wait an extra two years for their state pension and even the Government itself admits they will not have time to prepare.’


More information on the changes can be viewed here.