Coalition delays pension age rise at cost of £1bn

THE GOVERNMENT will delay its planned rise in the state pension age, it announced yesterday, at a cost of more than £1bn to the Treasury.

The hike in the state pension age to 66, for both men and women, will be put back six months to October 2020.

The new bill still proposes that the state pension age for women be raised to 65 by November 2018.

Around 33,000 women were due to have to wait an additional two years for their state pension, under the former plans.

The new plans will cap the wait at 18 months, work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith said yesterday.

Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Willott hailed the changes as a victory for her party. “Half a million people will be better off thanks to the Lib Dems,” she said yesterday.

“Lib Dems would ultimately have liked to have gone further – limiting increases to just a year. However, sadly we are but one part of the coalition and the vast majority of backbench Conservative MPs have remained silent on this issue, not wishing to put their head above the parapet and risk upsetting Number 10,” Willott added.

Under Labour’s previous plans, the state pension age would have increased to 66 in the year 2026.