Arran residents hit by pension date change
Government plans to raise the state pension age to 68 from 2037, seven years earlier than planned, will affect up to 500 people on Arran, it has been revealed.
Figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre show that 13,999 men and women, born between April 6, 1970, and April 5, 1978, living in North Ayrshire will now be forced to wait a year longer to get their state pension, after the government announced it would bring forward an increase in the state pension age which wasn’t due until 2044.
North Ayrshire and Arran MP Patricia Gibson said: ‘A great number of people in their late 30s and 40s will already be planning for their retirement; the fact that they will be forced to wait another year for their state pension is a major blow. The Tories must urgently reconsider this decision.
‘Meanwhile, the SNP will continue to call for the establishment of an independent Savings and Pensions Commission to responsibly consider pension policies to ensure they are fit for purpose and take into account Scotland’s demographic needs.’
The government argument, that the changes reflect growing life expectancy have been questioned by former government health adviser Sir Michael Marmot, who warned the trend towards longer lives was ‘pretty close to having ground to a halt’ since 2010, after rising constantly since the Second World War’.
Richard Baker, policy and communications manager at the charity Age Scotland, added: ‘In bringing forward a rise in state pension age by seven years, the government is picking the pockets of people in their 40s. New authoritative research has suggested that the longterm improvement in life expectancy is stalling. For people affected, their state pension may seem a lifetime away but the fact is that the change will have a real impact on them later in life.
‘Repeated changes to eligibility increases the risk that more people will struggle to plan and save adequately to maintain a decent quality of later life,’ he said.