Could the state pension age rise to 84?

Could the state pension age climb to 84? Accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers have crunched the numbers and confirm - after a life in harness of 66 years for some, possibly - it could. PwC says those born in the middle of the 21st century could have an average life expectancy of 104.

If so state retirement could be ushered in later - a lot later.

For the journey

When the state pension was introduced in 1909 it was payable from 70 when the probability of a man aged 20 surviving to that age was 34.8% says Bestinvest.

David Smith, wealth management director at Bestinvest, told the Telegraph that if the Government were to match the same average payment period now as was planned at the start of the 20th century, the normal state retirement age would commence at 80.

Smith says future Governments "needs to provide a lot more people with State Pensions for a far longer timespan, which can surely only mean further increases to the state pension age."

New number-crunching from PwC shows how long future generations may have to work for before qualifying for their State pension. "Linking the state pension age to life expectancy," says Ed Wilson, a director in PwC's pensions team, "means we could easily see people having to wait many more years before they get their state pension."

Hard graft

He goes on: "The Chancellor announced that someone in their 40s won't get their state pension until they are aged 68; the linkage to life expectancy is likely to mean someone starting work now will have to wait to age 72, and a child born today is unlikely to receive their state pension until they reach 77."

One side benefit says Wilson could be renewed economic growth for the UK. But whether those in blue collar jobs, where there is often a lot of physical graft, could be expected to work into their mid-eighties to claim a State pension would win few votes currently.

A recent OECD report revealed that Britain's state pension was the least generous of all 34 OECD countries except one (Mexico). The decline of the pitiful British state pension was accentuated in 1980 when the Thatcher Government cut the link between the state pension and average UK earnings.

Meanwhile for those trying to work out how George Osborne's new pension changes will affect their own state pension, the current online DWP state pension calculator has not yet been updated. (We checked this morning.) Use with caution, in other words.

PwC projections for State pension age below

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