A rise in the state pension age will soon be “inevitable”, according to work and pensions secretary John Hutton.
He told the Work Foundation conference that working longer would be part of any solution to the UK’s looming pensions crisis, and that the change should come in 2020.
“As unpopular as it may be to talk about working longer, the simple fact is that if we aren’t prepared to consider the option of increasing the state pension age, we will simply pass an ever greater burden on to our children and grandchildren,” he said.
In 1950, the average male spent 10.8 years in retirement. Today, he can expect to spend 20 years in retirement. “It would be irresponsible for us not to contemplate redressing this balance between work and retirement,” Hutton said.
Any change in retirement would have to be considered as part of a raft of changes, including helping people get back into work, and the reform of health and education policies, he added.