Director of Policy and Communications at Independent Age, John Palmer said: 

“We welcome the conclusions of the review of the State Pension Age and the decision announced by the government today. Many people can breathe a sigh of relief for now as there won’t be an imminent speeding up of plans to increase the pension age to 68. We know that previous changes to the State Pension age resulted in increased poverty among people left behind. Bringing forward the rise to 68 would have meant more people struggling financially in their mid 60s and beyond. At a time when Independent Age is hearing from people facing significant financial hardship, and when nationally more than two million older people are in poverty in the UK, we must avoid policy changes that result in more people being in this serious situation.  

“However, the pension age is still rising, and the Government can revisit its timetable and may decide to bring the increase forward at any point. The last time the State Pension age rose, poverty in later life increased. History cannot be allowed to repeat itself.  

“There are measures the Government can take to lessen the impact of future rises on people in financial hardship, including those unable to work in the years before retiring due to illness or caring responsibilities. For example, the Government should allow people in financially disadvantaged positions to access Pension Credit or other enhanced support one or two years before they reach their State Pension age. The Government must explore these options now – 1 in 4 people aged 60-64 are currently in poverty. 

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