Published On: Wed, Nov 20th, 2019

State pension age: ‘Is age 70 the new age 65?’ asks ONS as people work and live longer | Personal Finance | Finance


The marker of the start of so-called “older age” has come under the spotlight, following the release of a new report by the Office for National Statistics “Living longer: is age 70 the new age 65?”. It comes after changes to the state pension age have come into effect, ahead of further increases.

The publication has pointed out that in the UK, in the past, 65 years of age was traditionally taken as this marker, “most likely because it was the official retirement age for men and the age at which they could draw their state pension”.

However, the report has suggested that in terms of working patterns, the age of 65 years “as the start of older age is out of date”.

It also refers to the increases in the employment rates of adults who are aged 65 or older.

The ONS’ Labour Force Survey found that employment rates doubled for those aged 65 years and over between 1993 and 2018.

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The recent report into “older age” also cited that an increase in the understanding of what “older age” could be due to people living “longer, healthier lives”.

In 2018, a man aged 65 could expect to live for another 18.6 years, while a woman of the same age could expect to live for 21 more years.

The report looked at alternative measures of populating ageing, highlighting an alternative method.

“Sergei Scherbov and Warren Sanderson have suggested that instead of taking a fixed chronological age as the start of older age, a better alternative would be to set the threshold at a fixed remaining life expectancy (RLE) of 15 years,” it read.

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This age at which a person has an RLE of 15 years would change over time in line with changes in life expectancy, and would also be different for men and women due to differences in life expectancies.

In 2066, the age at which there is 15 years of remaining life expectancy would be 75 for men and 77 for women, compared to 70 and 72 in 2017.

The state pension age has been increasing, with it previously having stood at 60 for women and 65 for men.

In November 2018, the state pension age reached 65 for both men and women, and now it is continuing to rise. It’s set to reach 66 by October 2020, ahead of further increases.

Under the Pensions Act 2014, the state pension age will increase to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

Based on current law, the state pension age will then rise from 67 to 68 between 2044 and 2046, according to the Pensions Act 2007.

While it’s possible to work beyond state pension age, a person cannot claim their state pension until they reach this particular age.

Due to the changes to the state pension age, some people may have a different state pension age to others.

It’s possible to check what one’s state pension age is currently online, via the “Check your State Pension age” tool.

This service can be used to check when one will reach state pension age, as well as find out their Pension Credit qualifying age and when they’ll be eligible for free bus travel.

In order to find out a person’s state pension age using this service, the user is required to enter their date of birth.

They will also need to state whether they are classed as a man or a woman.



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