Can sustaining the State Pension only be achieved by raising the qualifying age?

Rachael Saunders, Age at Work Director, Business in the Community responds to a statement from the Work and Pensions Select Committee that the “only way state pension expenditure can be made sustainable is to keep raising the state pension age.”

“It is interesting that MPs are highlighting the challenge of pension provision with an ageing population. We are anticipating the outcome of the independent review by John Cridland CBE into the state pension age, and hope that policy will focus on pension provision that works for people for whom the state pension is an important part of their income in retirement. 

“It is a remarkable success of public policy that decreasing numbers of pensioners are retiring into poverty.  Still, though, we need to maintain focus on the people who need support most.  Access to work is crucial – currently, labour market participation drops off a cliff at age 50, and only a third of people are still working at state pension age. 

It is critical that people are able to work for as long as they need and want to.

“We need to reach one more million older people in work by 2022. This is the target set by the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, a position held by our Age at Work Leadership Team – led by Andy Briggs CEO Aviva UK Life. The target is aimed at supporting older people who want the same range of working options and opportunities as younger colleagues.

“In recognising the skills older people bring to the workplace, employers will benefit from the breadth and depth of their knowledge – and enable older workers who want to stay in work to do so.