Unite to fight pension age rises
Unite and the National Pensioners’ Convention join forces to oppose pension age rises
The state pension age is already too high – it’s due to rise to 67 by 2028 and 68 by 2046.
The government must rule out raising the state pension age further in the forthcoming Work and Pensions review.
The state pension age is already too high and the government must clearly rule out plans to raise the state pension age any further. That’s the message from a coalition of trade unionists and campaigners.
Unite and the National Pensioners’ Convention have launched a petition against raising the state pension and campaigners are building support for a nationwide campaign.
A Department of Work and Pension’s review of the state pension age is due to be published by 7th May. The government recently indicated it may bring forward the date of the state pension age rise to 68, potentially as soon as 2037. These plans are now due to be postponed, but with life expectancy falling and corporate profits booming the government must rule out pension age rises altogether.
Caren Evans, Unite national officer for retired members, said, “The state pension age is already too high. The government must completely rule out raising the state pension age any further. Kicking the decision into the long grass is not good enough.
“Millions already have to wait until they are 68 to claim their state pension, despite falling life expectancy and rising numbers of people off work due to long-term sickness. Workers create the wealth in this society and we demand a share of that wealth in our old age.”
Life expectancy is no longer rising steadily and healthy life expectancy is well below the state pension age. The average healthy life expectancy for men in England is 63.1 years, for women it is 63.8 years.
There are also large inequalities in healthy life expectancy. While the wealthiest can expect their good health to continue until they are 70, the poorest can only expect their good health to last until they are 52.
Jan Shortt, National Pensioners’ Convention general secretary, added, “It’s shameful that this government would even consider raising the state pension age for millions more people at this time. Many older people still in work struggle with health conditions that impact on their ability to remain productive.
“The government like to talk about intergenerational fairness, yet they fail to see that the pensioners of the future are our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They deserve to have a better retirement than the one current pensioners are experiencing. Would it be right, then, to expect them to work longer, reducing their quality of life in retirement?”
By Ciaran Naidoo