State pension age rising to 66 ‘is reminder for workers to plan for retirement’

The hike in the state pension age to 66 is a timely reminder for all working people to ask themselves if their retirement savings are on track, experts have said.

From Tuesday October 6, people will generally be 66 before they start receiving their state pension.

Men and women born between October 6 1954 and April 5 1960 will start receiving their pension on their 66th birthday.

The date when someone starts to receive their state pension depends on when they were born and increases to the state pension age have been taking place for many years under the Pensions Act 2011.

Pete Glancy, head of policy at Scottish Widows, said: “As people live longer, it’s clear many will also have to work for longer.

“The increase to the state pension age provides a timely reminder to everyone to check your pension pots and ask yourself whether the savings you’ve built up are enough for the kind of life you want in retirement.

“Our latest retirement report found that nearly half (45%) of over-50s fear running out of money in retirement. The reality is that, for many, the state pension on its own will not be sufficient to see them through their golden years.

“This is why it’s important to pay into a private pension throughout your working life – particularly if you want to retire before the state pension age.”

He said that in the tough financial climate due to Covid-19, it may be tempting for some people to see private pensions as an expense they can do without.

“But taking a short-term view is risky and may result in sacrificing long-term financial security,” he added.

Under the system of gradually rolling the state pension age upwards, some people have already needed to wait until the age of 66, or close to it, to receive their state pension.

People born on September 6 1954 reached state pension age on September 6 2020.

The state pension age will not stop at 66 – meaning younger generations will face needing to wait until they are closer to 70 before they can draw a state retirement income.

Tom Selby, a senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “State pension provision is only moving in one direction in response to rapidly rising life expectancy in recent decades.

“Since 2010 we have seen the state pension age equalised for men and women at 65, before increasing to 66 for all between 2018 and 2020.

“That is unlikely to be the end of the story, however. Plans are already in place to increase the state pension age to 67 by the end of this decade and then 68 by the end of the next decade.

“Furthermore, if average life expectancy continues to increase, the state pension age will inevitably follow suit.

“This means younger savers probably need to plan assuming they might not reach their state pension age until 70 or even beyond.

“Anyone who aspires to more than the bare minimum in retirement needs to take responsibility as early as possible to build their own retirement pot.”