Chancellor George Osborne has announced a faster than expected rise in the state pension age as part of his October Spending Review.
Mr Osborne told the House of Commons that the state pension age for men and women would reach 66 by the year 2020.
This will involve a gradual increase in the state pension age from 65 to 66, starting in 2018. It will also accelerate the increase in the female pension age already under way since this April.
Mr Osborne said: “Raising the state pension age is what many countries are now doing and will by the end of the next Parliament save over £5 billion a year – money which will be used to provide a more generous basic state pension as we manage demographic pressures.”
Following the 20 October announcement, it has been widely reported that the government plans a Green Paper to increase the state pension to around £140 per week with means tested top-ups scrapped.
Currently, the full basic state pension is £97.65 per week for a single person and £156.15 per week for a married couple, unless the couple’s individual state pensions are higher.
The Green Paper is expected to be published before the end of the year.
The previous Labour government had planned to raise the age at which men could claim their state pension to 66 by 2024 and by 2026 for women.