The Government yesterday announced fresh changes to the State Pension age, set to affect around six million Britons.
Under the new arrangements, a move to increase the pension age to 68 will be phased in between 2037 and 2039.
Under the original timetable, this change would not have taken effect until 2044.
The decision to bring the plans forward was announced by David Gauke, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, yesterday.
He said that, following discussions, ministers had elected to follow recommendations made in the Cridland report, an independent review of pension arrangements published earlier this year.
Addressing the Commons, Mr Gauke said: “As life expectancy continues to rise and the number of people in receipt of state pension increases, we need to ensure that we have a fair and sustainable system that is reflective of modern life and protected for future generations.”
The announcement will mean that those born between April 6th 1970 and April 5th 1978 will have to work longer before being eligible for the State payments.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams criticised the proposals, arguing that many in their sixties suffered from health problems in spite of improvements in life expectancy.
“Most pensioners will now spend their retirement battling a toxic cocktail of ill-health,” she said.
“The Government talks about making Britain fairer but their pensions policy, whether it is the injustice that 1950s-born women are facing, or today’s proposals, is anything but fair.”
Trade unions and the charity Age UK were also critical of the announcement.