The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - YOUR MONEY - Richard Dyson

I’m sorry for women hit by pen­sion age changes – but they’re ask­ing for too much

Tax­payer spend­ing on pen­sions, whether state pen­sions for ev­ery­one or pub­lic-sec­tor pen­sions for re­tired civil ser­vants, is slip­ping fur­ther out of con­trol.

No sin­gle gov­ern­ment wants to take hold of the is­sue be­cause it is so over­whelm­ingly com­plex and so core to the pub­lic’s per­cep­tion of wel­fare pro­vi­sion. From a politi­cian’s point of view, there is only down­side in pen­sion re­form.

You can­not eas­ily take ben­e­fits away from peo­ple al­ready re­tired (al­though the scrap­ping of the “triple lock” – which guar­an­tees min­i­mum in­creases in the state pen­sion – is a talked-of pos­si­bil­ity).

Nor can you re­nege on prom­ises set out in civil ser­vants’ work con­tracts, even though the gar­gan­tuan bur­den these rep­re­sent – in many cases paid straight out of tax re­ceipts – is only now be­com­ing ap­par­ent.

That leaves one tool in the Gov­ern­ment’s ar­moury: to in­crease the age at which fu­ture gen­er­a­tions re­tire and be­come el­i­gi­ble for state pen­sions.

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