Ar­ran res­i­dents hit by pen­sion date change

The Arran Banner - - News -

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.

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