Pension age hike ahead – but a loophole could mean some Britons can retire at age 55

Pensions ‘shouldn’t be a government piggy bank’ says Altmann

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The change will come in April 2028, the same time as the state pension age will increase from 66 to 67.

Pension ages differ between private schemes and state pensions.

The Government announced it would be pushing ahead with a change to the normal minimum pension age (NMPA) last week, but people will be able to circumvent this with careful planning.

Those savers who already have a pension age of 55 written into the terms of their pension will still be able to trigger their pensions aged 55.

This opportunity will last until 2023, so savers have a window to ensure they are unaffected by the change.

People will therefore have ample time to check what their own pension scheme says and review this depending on the terms.

The NMPA change will affect both men and women.

The Treasury and HMRC launched a joint consultation in February earlier this year, in which it was argued that if the changes weren’t implemented, the burden on working people would be too great to sustain.

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The proportion of our lives spent in retirement is far greater than it was when the state pension was introduced in 1948 and only going to get bigger if changes aren’t made actively.

We used to, on average, spend under a quarter of our lives in retirement.

Now that figure has swollen up to over a third.

The NMPA stipulates the minimum age pensions can be taken without incurring financial penalties.

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People may, however, also choose to delay taking their pension, which can have certain benefits.

It is crucial to be aware of the current rules and any changes as they happen when organising one’s finances.

This allows people to plan ahead and means they will avoid being caught out and have to hastily amend their plans.

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The amount of controversy sparked by state pension age changes that came into effect about which millions of women weren’t properly informed and the amount of damage it caused demonstrates the importance of planning for retirement well ahead of time.

Such women discovered they were to lose out on thousands of pounds and many faced an unwelcome plunge back into the workforce.

The women affected are those born in the 1950s.

The Pension Ombudsman has recently found “maladministration” in the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) handling of the communication of changes.

The women affected now turn to the Government in search of compensation for what happened to them.

A DWP spokesperson responded to, saying “both the High Court and Court of Appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court the claimants permission to appeal.

“In a move towards gender equality, it was decided more than 25 years ago to make the state pension age the same for men and women”.

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