State pension payouts should be available at earlier age, survey finds

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Two-fifths of people would favour overhauling the state pension so that it could be accessed at an earlier age, albeit at a reduced rate, according to a survey.

Some 42% of people surveyed for Aegon said they would support the idea of allowing people to access their state pension at a younger age - even if this meant the payouts that someone accessing their pension early received were smaller than if they had waited.

Over one in five (22%) of those surveyed were worried there will be reductions to the amount paid out by the state pension in future and 17% were concerned about further potential increases to the state pension age.

Aegon said it believes that the pension freedoms should be extended to the state pension and that people should have the option to take their state pension from their early 60s at a reduced level if they want to, perhaps due to health concerns.

Steven Cameron, director of pensions at Aegon UK, said: "Everyone approaching retirement has different needs and circumstances, and we need a more flexible system which accommodates this variety."

More than 2,000 people took part in the survey for Aegon.

A Government-commissioned review into the state pension is due to report in spring 2017. One of the questions the wide-ranging review is exploring is what the alternatives to a universal state pension age might be. A consultation previously launched as part of the review closes on December 30.