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.