UK state pension age must rise for economy’s sake, say experts

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Research shows that the ratio of pensioners to workers in the UK is becoming unsustainable as the population ages and birth rates fall.

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Anyone born after April 1970 in the UK could be forced to work until the age of 71, according to a new report from the Longevity Centre.

The current age threshold for receiving a state pension is 66, although this is expected to rise to 68 by 2044.

Experts say a gradual increase is needed to maintain the status quo of the constant number of workers per state pensioner.

If the ratio of retirees to workers increases, there will likely be a shortage of employees to keep up with growing consumer demand, the report said.

Work inequality is a more immediate problem in the UK than in less developed nations due to long life expectancy and falling birth rates.

The pandemic, coupled with Britain’s years of austerity and rising death rates, means there has been a temporary easing of pressure on pension budgets.

Covid-19, however, has resulted in periods of inactivity or working from home for people of working age and excluded older citizens from the world of work.

Analyzing early retirements, the Longevity Center also noted that many UK employees left the workforce prematurely due to preventable health conditions.

Only50% of adults in England and Wales they are now free of disability and could work until the age of 70, according to the report.

According to the Longevity Centre, taking care of employees’ health before it worsens should therefore be a priority for governments.

“Politicians can no longer ignore the impact of poor health on society as a whole and doing so will only render broader policies relating to work or pensions ineffective,” the report says.

Data published last week from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the UK population is expected to grow from around 67 million in mid-2021 to 73.7 million by mid-2036.

Spending on pension benefits is expected to have costs £138 billion in Great Britain between 2023 and 2024.

Of this, £125 billion will be spent on state pensions, while some will go towards housing benefits for pensioners and pension credit for people on low incomes.

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