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State Pension age is now 66

Written by: Emma Lunn
The age at which people can claim their State Pension rises to 66 from today.

The change applies to both men and women born after 5 October 1954.

The rise in State Pension age has been planned since 2010 when then chancellor George Osbourne announced plans to make people  work longer due to increases in life expectancy. More people are expected to spend a larger proportion of their adult life in retirement than ever before.

For those born after 1954, there will be a phased increase in state pension age to 67, and eventually 68.

As recently as 2010, women received their State Pension at 60, although men and women have had the same state pension age since 2018.

Planning for retirement

Dave Harris, CEO of more2life, says: “Although today’s changes to the State Pension age have been a long time coming, the impact on those close to retirement should not be underestimated. Delaying the point at which people can access their State Pension will exacerbate the financial challenges many already face in later life – especially for those who plan to rely heavily on the State Pension for their retirement income or are facing unwanted early retirement due to the pandemic.

“Today’s State Pension age rise will also come as another blow to many women who have not been able to build up as generous a private pension as their male counterparts and have seen other unwanted changes in recent years. Many of these women are likely to enter retirement with the challenge of funding a longer retirement than men, but with smaller pension pots.

“In fact, more2life’s latest research found that the ‘gender pension gap’ in retirement could be as much as £108,130 for single women and £186,120 for those in a relationship.”

What is the State Pension?

The State Pension is a weekly payment from the government that you receive when you reach State Pension age.

The full State Pension for new claimants is £175.20 a week.

To receive the full amount, recipients must have paid National Insurance for 35 qualifying years, while you need a minimum of 10 years’ worth of contributions to get anything at all.

The State Pension will rise in April after the government introduced a bill last month to avoid a freeze on increases under the triple lock mechanism.

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