State pension age under review as minister confirms huge update

Mel Stride in the House of Commons

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride made an announcement in the House of Commons today

Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 30/03/2023

- 09:21

Updated: 30/03/2023

- 13:28

The Work and Pensions Secretary made a statement in the House of Commons

A review into raising the state pension age has been announced in the House of Commons - and millions of Britons could be affected.

The Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride updated MPs on the latest statutory review on the age of retirement.

The state pension age was due to rise to 68 from 2044, but reports earlier this year suggested ministers wanted to bring that forward – potentially as early as 2035.

However, Stride told MPs on Thursday that now is not the time to make the change and plans to increase the state pension age to 68 could be delayed.

Elderly man on his phone

The Work and Pensions Secretary told MPs that plans to increase the state pension age to 68 have been delayed


The state pension age, 66, is legally scheduled to increase to 67 between 2026 and 2028 and was set to rise to 68 between 2044-46.

The Work and Pensions Secretary will look into pausing the increase amid falling life expectancy rates.

By law the government is required to examine planned changes to the system every six years, and the latest review takes into account factors such as the costs involved and life expectancy, which is no longer due to rise as quickly as previously projected.

Stride told MPs: “Given the level of uncertainty about the data on life expectancy, labour markets and the public finances, and the significance of these decisions on the lives of millions of people, I am mindful a different decision might be appropriate once these factors are clearer.

“I therefore plan for a further review to be undertaken within two years of the next Parliament to consider the rise to age 68 again.”

A decision on the increase in retirement age for Britons is now forecast to take place within the first two years of the next Parliament.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said the current rules for the rise from 67 to 68 “therefore remain appropriate and the Government does not intend to change the existing legislation prior to the conclusion of the next review”.

Currently, the age limit is based on ensuring nobody spends more than one third of their adult life in retirement.

However, during his statement to Parliament Stride said the increase in life expectancy has slowed.

“I welcome Baroness Neville-Rolfe’s independent report. It highlights an important challenge: a growing pensioner age population and the affordability and fiscal sustainability of the state pension," he added.

“As a society we should celebrate improvements in life expectancy, which has driven rapidly over the past century and is projected to continue to increase.

“Since the first state pension age review was undertaken in 2017, however, the increase in life expectancy has slowed.”

Elderly person's hands

Mel Stride said there could be delay to a rise in the pension age amid falling life expectancy rates


Life expectancy today has fallen since a 2017 review, when a man born in 1971 was predicted to live to 85.6.

These figures have fallen to 83.9 while for women the equivalent statistics have dropped from 88.1 to 86.7.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the annual State Pension bill for 2022/23 is £110bn, but is estimated to surge to around £148bn by 2027/28.

The Work and Pensions Secretary told the Commons: “The Government remains committed to the principle of 10-years notice of changes to state pension age, and will ensure that any legislation can be brought forward in a timely manner.

“The approach I’m setting out today is a responsible and reasonable one.

“One that continues to provide certainty for those planning for retirement, while ensuring that we take the time to get this right for the longer term, so that the state pension can continue to provide security in retirement and is sustainable and fair across the generations.”

You may like