State pension age change: Plan to help most vulnerable claimants revealed amid benefit row

The state pension age for men and women is currently 65 but will increase to 66 by October 2020. The pension age will then rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028. Age UK’s policy expert Sally West has outlined what the charity believes the Government should do to alleviate the stress on struggling claimants.

Speaking to, Ms West said: “We are continuing to press the Government to have a look at what can be done for people in a situation and struggling.

“We’re particularly interested in thinking about people that can’t work because they’ve got ill-health, disability or because they’re a carer.

“If somebody is approaching state pension age and in these situations.

“You can’t work if you have health issues and you’re never likely to work again.

“We think there should be some changes in the law perhaps to give people in these circumstances early access to their pensions or making the benefits system easier for people in this situation.

“For people that have been affected most by the rise in state pension age have perhaps had low income all their lives or periods out of work because of ill health care.

“They’re going to be more reliant on their state pension because they haven’t had the same opportunities to build up private pensions.

“That’s why we do feel the Government needs to be looking at addressing some of the issues of people in these situations.”

While the basic state pension is up to £168.60 a week, some pensioners will receive less due to paying lower National Insurance in the past.

Ms West added: “In terms of the new state pension there’s a set amount which is the full amount of £168.80 a week.

“People reaching state pension age now may not get the full amount because they haven’t got a full contribution record.

“But there’s also a very complicated part of the system which is about the transition from the old system to the new system.


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“If somebody was working and paying into an occupational pension before 2016, if it’s what’s called a contracted-out pension, they would have been paying lower national insurance than the standard rate.

“This is because they would have been paying into a workplace/occupational pension instead.

“An adjustment is made for that so even if you’ve got a full contribution record, if you were part of a contracted pension, you may find you don’t get the full amount.

“You’re not losing out because you were paying lower national insurance and it’s nearly always better to have been paying into a private/occupational pension instead.

“Some people who get to state pension age who get a bit more than the standard amount and that again is to do with past contribution records and building up additional pension.”

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