State pension age’s slow but steady rise

Both men and women now have to wait until their 66th birthdays to claim their state pension.

Both men and women now have to wait until their 66th birthdays to claim their state pension. Changes first announced by former chancellor George Osborne finally came into effect on 6 October. 

This week has therefore seen the most significant milestone in the slow but steady increase in state pension age since November 2018, when the pension age for men and women was equalised at 65.

There are further increases to come. The state pension age is due to reach 67 by March 2028 and 68 by April 2046, though the government may choose to bring these increases forward. Pressure on the public finances adds to the likelihood of it doing so.

It’s important to recognise that the state pension age is simply the age at which you can begin drawing your state pension. It doesn’t dictate when you have to stop working and many will opt to do so at a different age. However, savers hoping to retire early should note that the minimum age at which it is possible to withdraw private pension benefits, currently 55, will increase to 57 in 2028, in line with the increase in the state pension age.

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