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Unions launch campaign to halt state pension age increase

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01/06/2012
Three trade unions have joined forced to launch a campaign against government proposals to increase the UK state pension age to 68.
Unions launch campaign to halt state pension age increase

Three trade unions have joined forced to launch a campaign against government proposals to increase the UK state pension age to 68.

Unite, the Public and Commercial Services Union and the National Union of Teachers say the proposal to increase SPA from 65 to 68 is “reckless” because it pays no attention to “healthy life expectancy” as compared to longevity figures.

The trio of unions has launched a website called 68istoolate.org.uk citing statistics which claim that healthy life expectancy has increased from 66.7 to 68.8 for women and from 64.4 to 67 for men, meaning a SPA of 68 would cut short a healthy retirement on average.

The SPA is due to rise to 68 in 2044.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Making British people work until they drop is another hijacking of our living standards and shows no care for the lives of ordinary people.

“How can it be that the seventh richest nation on the planet denies its people a healthy retirement? This is not the sort of achievement any government can be proud of. This is unpopular, impractical and will strain our society. The government must rethink and do so now.”

The campaign is backed by a YouGov poll commissioned by the three unions which claims 77% of the 1,722 British adults polled think the difference between lower European retirement ages is unfair.

It also shows 62% of those polled who were born before 1977 were “uncomfortable” with the plans

The unions also say the UK plans are out of step with the rest of Europe, where only four nations, Germany, Denmark, Poland and Spain, are planning to increase their retirement age above 65 to 67.

The government will publish proposals on increasing the state pension age automatically this summer.

Chancellor George Osborne said in March the Office of Budget Responsibility would publish a white paper on reducing the cost of social care in the summer.

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