The state pension age will rise to 68 between 2037 and 2039 - seven years earlier than planned, under government proposals announced today. The universal state pension age we now operate under means that retirement age applies equally to everyone.
Britain is just one of many developed economies that have been forced to raise their retirement ages as life expectancy increases.
The state pension age for women is now being pushed back in line with men to 65 by November 2018 and 66 by 2020 - reaching 67 by 2028. The number of people claiming the state pension is expected to grow by a third between now and 2042, from 12.4 million this year to 16.9 million in 2042.
Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London, said: "The government is right not to have left this increase in the pension age until the mid-2040s".
The change will affect everyone born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978 - visit our state pension age calculator for your state pension age.
She had hoped to reduce the cost of state pensions with a pledge in her manifesto to scrap the so-called "triple lock" that guaranteed relatively generous annual increases. Delivering on these efforts will be vital to reducing the negative consequences of faster state pension age rises.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said that, when the state pension was introduced in 1948, a 65-year-old could expect to spend 13.5 years in receipt of it, which would equate to around 23% of their adult life.
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The review, authored by former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), John Cridland, looked at the key issues that drive state pension age changes including life expectancy, fairness, and long-term financial sustainability of the system.
The minister said: 'As the Cridland Review makes clear, the increases in life expectancy are to be celebrated, and I want to make clear that even the timetable for the rise that I'm announcing today, future pensioners can still expect on average more than 22 years in receipt of the state pension.
"Failing to act now in light of compelling evidence of demographic pressures would be irresponsible and place an extremely unfair burden on younger generations".
However, Labour and charities were quick to condemn the plans, with the shadow work and pensions secretary, Debbie Abrahams, describing them as "anything but fair", and arguing that many pensioners faced a "toxic cocktail" of ill-health long before they reached 68. But from 2010, the retirement age for women was bought into line with men.
Gauke said that under Labour's proposed timetable, state pension spending would be £20bn a year higher.
In his foreword to the government's report, published today, Gauke said the change would save £74bn (€83.6bn) by 2045-46.