Union-backed petition forces govt to justify state pension age change

Kim Kaveh reports...

The government will have to justify proposed changes to the state pension age (SPA) after a Prospect petition secured more than 12,000 signatures.

The petitionReverse government decision that will increase state pension age for millionswas launched after the government confirmed last July that it would raise the SPA to 68 between 2037 and 2039, seven years ahead of the date range originally planned.

Once a petition receives 10,000 signatures, it requires a formal response from the government. Once 100,000 signatures are obtained, it is considered for debate in parliament. However, MPs may still consider a petition for debate if this is not achieved.

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy said: “I’m delighted the petition has been so strongly supported by Prospect representatives and members.

“It is very important that government is forced to explain why it believes that future generations should expect to spend a lower proportion of their adult lives in retirement.”

He explained the government had “ignored” its own independent reviewer who recommended that 32.87% was an appropriate proportion to use.

Clancy added: “We need an open and honest debate about the impact of this proposal before any changes are implemented.”

Current legislation means the secretary of state is expected to formally review the SPA on a regular basis under the Pensions Act 2014.

The changes will need to be approved by parliament before they come into effect. However, the next SPA review will take place in July 2023, when the exact date of the increase will be announced.

According to Prospect, it is expecting an official response in “the next couple of days”.