DWP launches call for evidence on state pension age calculation metrics

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a call for evidence on what metrics should be considered when setting the state pension age, to support its ongoing review of the state pension.

The government recently confirmed plans for a second state pension review, looking at whether the current rules around pensionable age are appropriate based on the latest life expectancy data and other evidence.

The DWP confirmed that Baroness Neville-Rolfe has been appointed to prepare an independent report, which will provide the government with recommendations as to what metrics should be taken into account when setting state pension age in future.

In particular, the call for evidence has raised questions around the potential impact of intergenerational fairness considerations, changes in the nature of work, and sustainability and affordability.

The call for evidence will run until 25 April 2022 and is open to all, with the DWP emphasising that Baroness Neville-Rolfe would like to hear “from as wide a range of people as possible” to contribute to the report.

This could include experts in the fields longevity and ageing, older people and the labour market, intergenerational fairness and the fiscal challenges associated with an aging population.

Commenting in the introduction, Baroness Neville-Rolfe highlighted the call for evidence as "an important part of the evidence gathering stage of [her] report".

She stated: “State Pension age will impact most citizens at some point in their lives and I want as wide a range of people as possible to have the opportunity to contribute.

"I would encourage anyone with an interest to let me have their views on this important subject by responding to the questions set out below. I welcome evidence from members of the public of all ages and all interested parties.

“I realise there will be experts in the fields of longevity and ageing, older people and the labour market, intergenerational fairness and the fiscal challenges associated with an ageing population who will be particularly interested.”

However, Canada Life technical director, Andrew Tully, warned that “any debate around the increase to the state pension will inevitably be controversial”, arguing that "there are no easy answers".

“Life expectancy varies hugely across the UK so any change isn’t straightforward. People living in poorer areas are also much more likely to remain in work while waiting to become eligible for the state pension, so any change will inevitably have a more fundamental impact on some,” he continued.

“That being said, allowing access at different ages would be extremely complex. All in all there are no easy answers and it needs to form part of a wider debate around levelling up, increasing life expectancy across all regions in the UK, and increasing private pension savings through auto-enrolment.

“Clear communication of any proposed changes will be essential for success, ensuring people understand how they will be impacted and with plenty of time to plan for their future.”

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