Pensions bill unveiled

29-11-2006

Pensions bill unveiled
The government has today unveiled its much-vaunted pensions bill, which confirms that the retirement age will be raised to 68 by 2046.

Confirmation was also given that the link between pensions and earnings will be reconnected by the next parliament, as had been previously indicated by work and pensions secretary John Hutton.

Following recommendations made by Lord Turner's commission, the bill will seek to address the pensions gender gap by aiming to make 90 per cent of women eligible for a full pension by 2025.

Both men and women will need to work for 30 years to qualify, with the government claiming that the average weekly pension will go up to £130 as a result of the changes.

Raises to the retirement age will be staggered, with people only able to claim a state pension after reaching 66 by 2026, 67 by 2036 and then 68 ten years later.

Speaking today after the publication of the bill, Mr Hutton said: "This means that parliament will be asked to legislate for the next 40 years. It is a big step but is absolutely the right way to meet the demographic challenge so that we do not burden our children and grandchildren with the cost of a population spending longer and longer in retirement."

Increases in weekly pensions have been tied to rises in prices rather than earnings since legislative changes made by the Conservatives in 1980.


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