Pensions expert has 'bad news' for millions who will 'wait longer' to retire

Payments from the Department for Work and Pensions to older people claiming the full State Pension increased by 8.5 per cent to £221 per week earlier this month, but younger and middle-aged workers will likely have to "wait longer for their State Pension, for longer," according to pensions experts at consumer publication Which?.

With more people living longer and healthier lives, the number of people reaching pension age is set to balloon. Currently, the taxpayer spends £124 billion on the State Pension each year, which is only set to increase to more than six per cent of all spending by 2050 - when the number of British pensioners is forecast to increase by 25 per cent to 16 million.

Pensions writer Paul Davies said on the Which? Money podcast: "So the State Pension age at the moment is 66. The bad news for you and for me is that it's going up and it might go up even more rapidly in future."

READ MORE: DWP pension changes that will impact millions of young workers delayed

The age at which you can start claiming State Pension is set to rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028, with another rise to 68 planned for between 2044 and 2046. But with an aging population, younger and middle-aged workers are likely to have to wait longer before they can enjoy their retirement.

Paul Davies went on to say: "But the likelihood is that that will be brought forward. And the state pension age of 68 will happen in probably 10 years.

"What happens after that is anyone's guess. But I can't see it being brought back down again. So people are going to have to wait longer for their state pension for longer."

Life expectancy for men in the UK has risen to 78, while women are now living to 82 years old on average. With every year the State Pension age increases, fewer of those years are likely to be spent by workers enjoying the fruit of their labours.

Davies said: "Initially it was to do with life expectancy so it was set at 65 when, when life expectancy was around 85, in that people would have about 20 years to claim their state pension. And then as life expectancy went up, so did the State Pension age.

"It is also cheaper for the government You know it's a huge cost to fund the state pensions. And making people wait a few years meant that the government could defer some costs.