State pension age rises: When will you retire?

Pensions, Personal Tax l

The soaring cost of Britain’s ageing population will force the state pension to 70 and beyond, the Government has said. It will now rise “in line with life expectancy” – currently 79 for men and 82.7 for women and rising.

The warnings flickering across the news headlines have left many in their 40s, 50s and 60s with little idea of when they will be able to claim their entitlements.

So The Telegraph has produced this guide to the Government’s current plans – and potential future changes. Determining the date on which you can claim an old-age income from the state should inform your retirement savings plans.

Current plans

The state pension age is currently 65 for men and 61 and nine months for women. This age will equalise at 65 for men and women in 2018. It will then increase every few months, reaching 66 by 2020. The next planned increase, towards age 67, will start in 2026 and conclude in 2028.

So anyone aged 59 or under will face a retirement age of between 65 and 66. Those under 53 will have to wait until age 66 at least. Finally, those 52 and under will take a pension no earlier than age 67. *See current timetable below*

What next?

The move towards 68 and 69 will be accelerated, the Chancellor announced in the Autumn Statement in December 2013. The latest predictions, put together for The Telegraph by pensions consultants Towers Watson, suggest those aged 47 and under will be affected.

Plugging life expectancy data into a government formula unveiled in December 2013, the pension age will move to 68 between 2034 and 2036, affecting those born in 1966. A move to 69 would occur between 2047 and 2049.

Age now  Women’s state pension age  Men’s state pension age 
61 63 65
60 63-65 65-66
59 and under 65-66 65-66
53 66 or 67 66 or 67
52 and under 67 67
mid 40s and under 68 68
mid 30s 69 69

For a personalised estimate, use the Government or call The Pensions Service on 0800 731 7898.

Beat the rising state pension age: A plan for retirement at age 55

When will today’s children retire?

The state pension age should hit 70 by 2063 under current estimates. That would force today’s 20-year-olds to wait until age 70 to take their state pension. Pensions analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown said children born in 2063 can expect a pension age of 74.


The exact pace of the rises is yet to be passed as law. George Osborne, the Chancellor, has said the payout should last “a third of adult life”, which could hold back future increases. But Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, has said we will typically spend “between 20 to 25 years in retirement”. It is not clear how these statements sit together.

The best guide is a paper published by the Department for Work and Pensions, which suggested the pension age might start to rise two years before the proportion of adult life in receipt of the payment would otherwise reach 33.3pc. The projections made by Towers Watson used this formula.

Also, the rate at which British life expectancy is rising has slowed. While there were sharp improvements in mortality in 2011, there was a lag in 2012 and early 2013. This is important, as the Government has said it will monitor life expectancy and make adjustments to the state pension age accordingly.

Full timetable

Table 1: Woman’s State Pension age under the Pension Act 1995

Table 2: Women’s State Pension age under the Pensions Act 2011

Table 3: Increase in State Pension age from 65 to 66, men and women

Table 6: Proposed increase from 66 to 67, men and women






Source: The Telegraph, 19/12/13