Govt confirms plans to raise private pension access to 57

Hannah Godfrey writes

The government has confirmed plans to raise the age individuals are allowed to access their private pensions from the current age 55 to 57 by 2028.

In a written question to the Treasury, Labour MP for East Ham Stephen Timms asked what plans the government has to increase the minimum age at which people can access their private pension under the tax rules.

In response, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City minister John Glen confirmed plans first announced in 2014, which would increase the minimum pension age to 57 from 2028.

Glen said the move would be legislated for “in due course”, but did not give any further insight on when this might be.

The change means people will now have to wait two more years before being able to access their pension savings.

Quilter head of retirement policy Jon Greer said the change would come as a blow to those hoping to retire at 55.

“A few diligent pension savers are lucky enough to be able to afford to retire at 55 with a pension pot sufficient to last the rest of their lifetime. But in future that age will switch to 57 before savers can unlock their tax free cash and income from a retirement fund,” he said.

“Designed as a safety valve in the pension system, the minimum age for accessing a pension is intended to prohibit people from withdrawing too much of their pension too soon. Part of the trade-off for receiving pension tax relief and the perk of tax free cash is that savers have to commit to keep their money locked up till their mid-50s.”