State Pension Age Review
State Pension Age review team
State Pensions Division
Floor 5, Section B, Caxton Hose
London SW1H 9NA
When should the state pension age increase to 66?
A Call for Evidence
This Response is made on behalf of the trustees of PARITY, a charity having as its constitutional remit the equal rights of men and women.
In the past, PARITY has initiated legal actions in the UK and European Courts which resulted in the qualifying ages for men being equalised at 60 in respect of free NHS medical prescriptions, of winter fuel payments, and of bus passes. PARITY was also party, in the early stages, to the widower’s benefits case, which resulted in equal benefits for widowers.
Existing legislation allows for the equalisation of state pension age for men and women at age 65 by year 2020. The age for both men and women will then increase from 65 to 66 between April 2024 and April 2026, from 66 to 67 between April 2034 and April 2036, and from 67 to 68 between April 2044 and April 2046.
We accept such a programme provided that no further sex discrimination is introduced in respect of state pension age and liability to national insurance contributions during these stages.
Our primary concerns with the programme are three-fold. They relate particularly to Questions 1 and 3 in the Call for Evidence document.
(1) That the move towards the equalisation of state pension for men and women to age 65 in the forthcoming period 2010 to 2020, is not prejudiced in any way, for instance by increasing men’s state pension to 66 before this process is completed. [A proposal not considered in the Call for Evidence document].
(2) That employment opportunities for young adults (age 16 to 24) are not unduly prejudiced by the rise in state pension age for older workers, in particular those for young males, who at present have higher unemployment rates than their female counterparts.
(3) That any state pension age higher than 65, will not impact unfairly on those in heavy manual occupations who are physically incapable of working much beyond their early sixties, in particular older men, or on other people also physically incapable.