Warning over pension age rise

Chancellor Philip Hammond
Chancellor Philip Hammond
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The state pension age could be forced to rise above the average life expectancy for men in parts of Blackpool, MPs have warned.

The Government has committed to a ‘triple lock’, which guarantees the state pension will rise by 2.5 per cent or in line with average earnings or the consumer price index, whichever is highest.

The Commons Work and Pensions Committee chairman Frank Field said the pension age would have to rise to 70.5 by 2060 if the current rate of annual increases continues.

The current average life expectancy for men in Blackpool varies from 67.9 in Bloomfield ward to 78.2 in Hawes Side. For women, the figure ranges from 76.5 in Waterloo to 83.8 in Bispham.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said the triple lock will be reviewed after 2020.

Mr Field said the triple lock makes increases to the state pension age inevitable.

He added: “This has the effect of excluding ever more people from the state pension altogether.

“Such people will disproportionately be from more deprived areas and manual occupations, while those benefiting most will be the relatively prosperous.”

Labour demanded that Mr Hammond commit in his Budget next week to guarantee the triple lock beyond 2020.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “It was shocking to hear the Chancellor suggest that he would expose older people to the flawed austerity agenda, further proof that the Tories are abandoning older people.”

A Government spokesman said: “The Government wants to ensure economic security for people at every stage of their life, including retirement. The triple lock has protected the incomes of millions of pensioners and we are committed to it for the duration of this Parliament.”