Maintaining the current state pension is “easily affordable” if the government meets its employment target, according to the TUC.
Raising the age from 65 would only be a ‘quick-fix’ solution which would force poorer people to work longer because they were less likely to have a private or occupation pension, it said.
The target of getting 80% of working age people into jobs, together with increased prosperity, could support a growing elderly population, said the union organisation.
TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: “There is an alternative to a work-till-you-drop rise in the pension age, and that is to help those below the pension age get a job and make a full economic contribution so that there are more people in work under 65 paying taxes and creating wealth.”
New jobs will have to be created in areas of high unemployment to meet the target, the union group added.
The Pensions Commission is due to publish its final report into the future of savings and retirement this autumn.