Government response to state pension age review delayed until after election

Updated: 

The Government has delayed until after the General Election its response to an independent review which recommended raising the state pension age of millions of voters.

Former CBI director-general John Cridland was appointed as the Government's independent reviewer of the state pension age last year and recommended that it should increase from 67 to 68 between 2037 and 2039.

But the responsibility for responding to his report has been passed on to whoever wins the June 8 election, in a move which Labour said would worry voters given Theresa May's refusal to commit to maintaining the pensions triple-lock.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "This is a crucial issue for the long-term management of both the public finances and the savings of individuals.

"Therefore it is important that policy is made by a government with the power to act on that policy, which will now be the government formed after the General Election.

"The delay incurred in waiting to publish the report will have no detrimental impact on the public."

Pension experts said if the Cridland recommendations are taken up, people in their 40s face their state pension age being pushed back a year.

They warned those in their 30s and younger may eventually face the possibility of drawing their pension at 70.

The review also recommended the triple-lock, which guarantees the state pension increases annually by the highest measure out of average wages, inflation or 2.5%, is withdrawn in the next Parliament.

Labour has vowed to protect it but the Prime Minister has so far refused to match that commitment.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: "Today the Government have refused to set out their plans for the state pension age before the election, despite the legal requirement to report to Parliament before May 7.

"It comes on the back of the Prime Minister's continued refusal to commit to the state pension triple-lock.

"This is yet more worrying news for pensioners already hit by a squeeze to their living standards. Labour is calling for clarity from the Tories on their plans for the future of the state pension age.

"Pensioners and working people cannot afford not to know the future of the state pension age.

"This is more evidence that this election is a choice between a Tory party that fails working people and a Labour Party that will stand up for working people and deliver a better, fairer Britain."