''Pensions are an equality issue – people who earn less, have broken work histories, and have physically demanding jobs, are disproportionately affected by change – but the most disadvantaged are not served well by the current system. We need to take the opportunity of change to increase fairness.
I really welcome the concept of “intragenerational fairness” in the Cridland report and the recognition in the report of the gaps in life expectancy driven by deprivation and occupation.
We also welcome recognition of the differential impact of state retirement age on carers, people with disabilities, the self-employed, ethnic minorities and women. Between them, these groups cover a substantial chunk of the UK population. Tackling barriers to fair pension provision is vital.
What matters is that we make decisions that are right for the most vulnerable. Our Missing Millions research with ILC UK showed us that labour market participation falls off a cliff over 50, and there are a million people over 50 out of work who would like a job. We cannot assume that working longer is the answer until people over 50 can access fairly paid, good work as easily as younger people.
Equally, too many workers, mostly women, work well beyond state pension age, not because they want to, but because they have few savings and little choice. They, along with other manual workers, and people living in the poorest parts of the UK, will not benefit from our longevity revolution, and risk having little retirement to enjoy.
Any new proposals on retirement need to have flexibility and support built in for the poorest, and those in physically demanding roles who will not be able to work longer. Those who are less likely to live longer must not pay an unfair price for the benefits others will enjoy. ''
It is a requirement of the State Pensions Act 2014 that each government reviews the State Pension. An independent review by John Cridland CBE, is gathering evidence on setting the right State Pension Age in readiness for making recommendations to the government in 2017.
Learn more about the review and how you can respond>>
Closing date: 31 December 2016 5:00pm