Buried deep in the media on Wednesday was the tiny little insignificant piece of news that the UK state pension age is rising to 68. This will be phased in between 2037 and 2039, rather than 2044 as was originally proposed.
The people affected by this are people aged 39 to 47, approximately 6,000,000 people.
The original announcement was scheduled for May 2017, however, it was postponed and it was released yesterday instead – I presume due to the upcoming General Election in June 2017.
Of all the days it could have been released, yesterday, whilst social media was in a frenzy about the BBC pay scandals, was the most ‘appropriate’ day to announce it.
If I were cynical, I would be inclined to believe that it was announced yesterday on purpose. But, hey, I don’t have a cynical bone in my body!
The reasoning behind the rise was due to the findings in the Cridland report. David Gauke said “As life expectancy continues to rise and the number of people in receipt of state pension increases, we need to ensure that we have a fair and sustainable system that is reflective of modern life and protected for future generations”.
In other words, don’t expect 68 to be anything short of a ‘holding pen’. Those of you younger than 39 can expect it to rise further yet by the time you’re looking to retire – I’m in my early thirties – every chance I could be working until I’m over 70! Wonderful!
The Government said that the new rules would save the taxpayer £74bilion by 2045/46, bringing the GDP spend on pensions from 6.5% down to 6.1%.
I wonder if the government has any figures relating to the amount of money lost to the UK economy by not giving that £74billion to its pensioners to spend…you know, spend on their hobbies, meals, bills, loans, etc.
The other side of the cynical coin I am revealing just now is that this pension change announcement also comes at a timely point of the summer recess for MP’s in the House of Commons. Another odd ‘unintentional’ time to announce such a change when it cannot be debated immediately.
Instead of being focused on this rather important issue, the UK population was forced to absorb the headlines about the BBC pay this, presenters get that etc. All the while the average Joe cannot do anything about what the BBC do or don’t do because if you don’t pay your licence, you are potentially on your way to a large fine and a criminal record!
The most demanding issue here in the face of yet another Conservative damaging policy is this pensions issue…yet it goes off without a glitch and it just flies over the head of most of the British public.
Now where did I leave that remote?