LAST WEEK CHANCELLOR GEORGE OSBORNE announced that the state pension age is set to rise up to age 69 by the 2040’s.
The announcement coincided with this year’s Autumn Budget, in which the Chancellor also announced that next April the state pension is set to rise by £2.95 a week. This means that pensions will be around £800 better off a year.
Regardless of this, it’s going to take even longer for people to receive their state pension. The changes come with the reasoning that as Britons expect a third of their adult lives to be spent in retirement, this mentality must accurately reflect the fact that people are living longer. The government has said that life expectancy rates are increasing, and so too must the state pension age. But what do the citizens of Chester think about this and how does it effect them?
Matthew Bridson, 23, graduated from the University of Chester last year with a combined honours degree in English and French.
He said: “The fact that it’s going up or it’s about to go up is just insane frankly. It takes so long to find a job nowadays, coming out of university doesn’t guarantee it in any way; in fact you have to wait around even longer. In comparison to France as an example, their pension age is so much lower than ours already and they kick up a fuss at the slightest change so maybe we should do that sort of thing over here as well?”
It’s true. In France, President Francois Hollande has avoided raising the statutory retirement age of 62 years, fearing widespread public opposition. In fact, in Turkey you can retire with a full pension at the tender age of 45.
Grace Sutton, 22, has also graduated from university but is now seeking a further education by studying for a Masters in Manchester.
She said: “Obviously I’m not confined in working till I’m 70, but the problem is if I want a pension to support my family then I most likely am going to have to work for the next 48 years. To think that I may be working for this long to help fund my lifestyle after retirement is quite daunting.”
Some column opinionates have spoke out during the week and suggested that the chances of this reform not being drastically changed by the time today’s youth reach retiring age are relatively slim. But the fact remains that for now, the reform is here to stay.
Perhaps most poignantly we spoke to Scott Beasley, 41, a contractor based in Cheshire.
He said: “It’s the UK returning to its traditional values. Only the rich get to retire. The poor get to work to death. The hard-working people who make up this country will have to wait even longer, and work even harder before they get what is rightfully theirs. It’s sad, really.”