A fresh state pension age rise is now due to happen between 2037 and 2039. This may leave retirees with a gap in their retirement income. Retirees should look at their retirement financial planning. We explain forthcoming changes to the state pension age, so you can find out what you need to do for your retirement planning in light of the new changes.stack of coins

 What is happening to the state pension?

The state pension age is rising. And it’s happening at a far greater speed than originally planned. For many years, the age at which you could claim your state pension had been 65 for men and 60 for women. When the state pension was introduced in 1948, a 65-year-old could expect to spend 13.5 years in receipt of it – around 23% of their adult life. This has been increasing ever since. In 2017, a 65-year-old can now expect to live for another 22.8 years, or 33.6% of their adult life1. Hence, to accommodate this greater draw on government revenue the state pension age is gradually increasing.

The age at which you qualify for the state pension is in the process of rising as follows:

  • By November 2018 – for women, a rise in state pension from 60 to 65 years (the exact date depends on the month you were born).
  • October 2018 to October 2020 – both men and women’s state pension age will equalise and increase to 66 years old.
  • Between 2026 and 2028 – it will rise again to 67 years.
  • Between 2037 and 2039 – a rise from 67 to 68 years old.


The exact date that you get your state pension will depend on the year you were born. You can work this out by referring to the HMRC’s website.  The changes to the state pension age are aimed at bringing women’s state pension age into line with men’s, and taking account of everyone living longer.


Why is this of greater concern to women?

Women born between April 1953 and April 1960 are likely to be affected most by the changes. This is due to having their retirement age pushed back. These increases in state pension ages are hitting women harder than originally anticipated. This is because they are happening both sooner than expected and in relatively quick succession. According to House of Commons Library figures, 48,000 women could lose as much as £12,000 under the new guidelines.

These women must consider how they will bridge the significant shortfall when saving and preparing for retirement.


Who can get a state pension?

Not everyone is entitled to the full state pension. Eligibility depends on meeting certain criteria.

As well as being the required age, you must:

  • work in the UK
  • have reached state pension age
  • made National Insurance contributions for 35 years (if you qualify after April 2016 – workers needed to have 30 years of qualifying National Insurance contributions prior to this date).
  • if you aren’t in work, you must have either paid voluntary National Insurance or be credited with them from the government.


How much is the state pension? 

The system has changed for people retiring since 6 April 2016. It was replaced by a new ‘flat rate’ state pension. This is £159.55 a week at present. However, the actual amount you get depends on your National Insurance (NI) record. Get professional financial advice – a state pension alone is potentially not enough

Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, the state pension alone is unlikely to provide you with enough to live on. It is important to consider making your own provisions with a workplace pension or a private pension to fund your retirement years.

An independent financial adviser should be able to help you put suitable pension plans in place. The key is to ensure you have suitable provisions in place as soon as you can afford to start saving. The sooner you start the greater your chances are of achieving your financial goals in retirement.


The pension advisers at True Bearing can help with all your pension planning needs, call 01257 260011 or email contactus@truebearing.co.uk for a no-obligation meeting at our expense.