The State Pension Age is the age at which you are entitled to start drawing your state pension. It used to be 65 for men and 60 for women but, with public finances being squeezed and more people living longer, this is set to change for almost everyone.
For women born before 6 April 1950, the state pension age will not change from 60 years. Those born on or after 6 April 1950 but before 6 December 1953 will have an age between 60 and 65, depending on the exact date of birth.
Those born on or after 6 December 1953 but before 6 April 1978 will be able to draw their pension between 65 and 68, and those born on or after 6 April 1978 will have a State Pension Age of 68.
For males born before 6 December 1953, they’ll only have to be 65 years before they can draw their pension. For those born on or after 6 December 1953 but before 6 April 1978 it is between 65 and 68 (depending on the date of birth) and for those born on or after 6 April 1978 it will be 68.
The UK Government website gov.uk has a Pension Age calculator that will give you your exact State Pension Age based on your gender and date of birth.
Getting a pension forecast
If you are more than 30 days away from current State Pension Age, you can request a pension forecast from The Pension Service. This will tell you the level of pension you can expect to receive when you reach pensionable age.
For a full guide on the process and other useful information, visit moneyvista.com.
Beyond the changes already in the pipeline, many people think further alterations are inevitable as the UK population continues to age. The coalition government is already seeking to link pensions to life expectancy which could see it rise to 73 for today’s 33-year olds and 77 for those who are currently 18.
Some have already argued that the changes are unfair in Scotland, where life expectancy is on average 2.7 years lower for men and 2.1 years lower for women than it is in England. If Scotland were to become independent, your entitlement to the state pension or pension credits would initially be the same; although this may change in the future.