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Public Works is UNISON Scotland's campaign for jobs, services, fair taxation and the Living Wage. This blog will provide news and analysis on the delivery of public services in Scotland. We welcome comments and if you would like to contribute to this blog, please contact Kay Sillars k.sillars@unison.co.uk - For other information on what's happening in UNISON Scotland please visit our website.

Monday, 2 September 2013

State pension age and inequality

A new report published by the TUC (‘Life expectancy inequalities and state pension outcomes‘) shows how much pension inequality will grow by 2028 as a consequence of the Pensions Bill going through Westminster. The Bill will accelerate the timetable for increasing state pension age (SPA) to 67. It will now reach 67 for both men and women by 2028, compared to 2036 under current legislation.

This is important not just for the state pension but because the public sector pension normal retirement age is also tied to this legislation.

Trade unions have long argued that it is grossly unfair to increase State Pension Age while vast inequalities in life expectancy exist. We know that inequalities in life expectancy at 65 based on both class and geography are increasing. 

Every increase in SPA reduces the portion of life spent in retirement. But because SPA is universal, the reduction is disproportionately greater among people with a lower life expectancy and as a consequence those people will receive less state pension income. Male managerial/professional workers can expect to receive 17.6 per cent more than routine/manual workers from 2028. For women in the same groups the difference is 20.2%.

As the TUC say, this simply rubs salt in the wounds of life expectancy inequalities.

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