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Are the government delaying the inevitable or will new findings be taken onboard?

Following a yearlong review of the age at which we can expect to receive our state pension, the government has delayed its response announcing if there will indeed be another increase until after the general election on June 8.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, making any announcement right now would ‘breach the convention that applies during the pre-election period’, or is it that they don’t think we’ll like what they have to say?

We already know that two separate reports for the government, both focusing on the predicted increase in life expectancy, recommended age hikes. A report by John Cridland predicts workers under the age of 45 may have to wait until they are 68 before they can draw their pension, while a document for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) suggests those under 30 may not have access to theirs until they reach 70.

Although it won’t be a popular decision, if we are in fact living longer, then of course it makes sense that the State Pension age goes up to match this. However, according to the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) in recent years mortality improvements in the UK have slowed down considerably and, over the last two years, have actually started to worsen – meaning we are dying younger.

It is too early to say definitively if this trend is set to continue into the future, however, having seen two years of worsening improvements, maybe it is time to change the widely held view that we will all continue to live longer. Now that the government had delayed announcing their findings, will they take this new information onboard? I guess, if they’re reelected after June 8, we’ll find out.

Stuart Price