Former Tory minister urges Boris Johnson to lower minimum retirement age to 61

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If the Prime Minister agrees to Ros Altmann’s plan, it would mean anyone with 45 years of National Insurance contributions but unable to work due to health problems could retire five years earlier with a state pension scaled down.

Former pensions minister Ros Altmann

Former Conservative Pensions Minister Ros Altmann is calling on Boris Johnson to lower the minimum retirement age to 61.

If the Prime Minister agrees to his plan, it would mean anyone with 45 years of National Insurance contributions but unable to work due to health problems could retire five years earlier with a reduced state pension.

Under the current system, one in seven people aged 65 is pushed into poverty because the retirement age is now 66 for both men and women. This will increase to 67 in 2026.

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies showed that 100,000 older people fell below the poverty line in 2020, as 700,000 people aged 65 had to wait another year before receiving pension payments. worth £142 per week.

Under Baroness Altmann’s scheme, those who could not continue working would be entitled to a pension of around £84 a week instead of having to rely on unemployment benefit.

Those who could show a shortened life expectancy could claim the full blow. The plan could be funded from the £4.9billion saved by raising the retirement age.







Boris Johnson faces calls to lower minimum retirement age
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Image:

POOL/AFP via Getty Images)


Official figures show that the healthy lifespan is only 52 years for those living in deprived areas, but over 70 years for wealthier regions.

Baroness Altman, appointed Minister for Pensions by David Cameron in 2015, said: “It’s about social justice as well as social support.

“Forcing everyone to wait longer because average life expectancy has increased ignores this nearly 20-year gap.

“Many have had a life of hard manual labor which has taken a toll on their health.

flexibility in retirement age is needed.

Caroline Abrahams of Age UK said: ‘We are deeply concerned about those who have to give up work due to poor health or caring responsibilities before they reach statutory retirement age.

“Life for them is bleak and it is right that they get early access to their state pension if they have no realistic prospect of working again.”

A government spokesman said: “For those who cannot work, we provide a strong social safety net, which includes Universal Credit.”

But Baroness Altmann said: ‘It is draconian that those who are 45 years old cannot get a penny earlier.

“It would create a sliding scale of payments based on health, age and NI contributions. Putting older people out of work when they can’t work is ruthless.

This situation was made worse by the Conservatives’ 2016 changes to pension credits, which raised the claimant’s age from 60 to 66.

Baroness Altmann said her scheme could be modeled so those who took reduced pensions early can still get the full amount at age 66.

UK pensions are the lowest in the developed world – even though the triple lock with return has been scrapped.

This will see pensions increase with inflation, earnings or 2.5%, whichever is greater.

And with prices soaring, it should give pensioners nearly £1,000 extra next year.

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