Government does not have a mandate to increase pension age

No mandate to increase pension age, Prospect tells government

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy has written to David Gauke, the newly appointed work and pensions secretary, to tell him the state pension age must be left unchanged when the government reports to Parliament on the issue.

Stack of pension coins declining in size

In his letter Clancy says that the result of the general election shows that there is no consensus for further increases to the state pension age.

Clancy said: “No party proposed specific increases in the state pension age in their manifestos and there is no majority in the House of Commons for this.

“Indeed, the main opposition parties specifically opposed the increases already legislated for. What’s more, the increased turnout among younger voters surely represents a desire to tackle intergenerational unfairness rather than exacerbate it.”

Clancy pointed out that a government report on the first periodic review of rules about state pension age has been outstanding since 7 May, but argued that there is no requirement to propose any changes to state pension age at this point anyway and that rushing into a decision would be a big mistake.

“This would be the wrong time to legislate for changes due to come into effect in the mid-2030s, particularly when there is so much uncertainty about longevity assumptions,” he said. “If the government waits for a few years there will be a lot more data available on which to to base decisions and still plenty of time to implement changes that might be necessary.

“Technically the Secretary of State’s report is already significantly late but it’s far more important to get this decision right than to make it quickly.

“I urge the Secretary of State to consider this carefully rather than being bounced into rubber-stamping decisions that were made by officials before he even took office.”