HC Deb 15 September 2004 vol 424 c1621W
Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research has been commissioned by his Department on the effects on the health of men over 65 years in the 10 most deprived local authorities in the United Kingdom of raising the retirement age to 70 years. [189108]

Malcolm Wicks

There is no such thing as a state retirement age; many employers choose to set a retirement age for their employees typically at 60 or 65. The Government are currently consulting with key stakeholders on the future of retirement age in light of the 2006 age legislation, and will consider the effects of their final decision on individuals and employers.

The state pension age, the age at which an individual may receive their state pension is currently 65 for men and 60 for women. As announced in the 2002 Pensions Green Paper "Simplicity Security and Choice: Working and saving for retirement", the Government have no plans to increase the state pension age beyond 65. Our aim is to provide the choice and opportunity for all individuals to work longer if they wish and to retire at a point that best suits their circumstances. A number of new measures to support this approach were introduced in the 2002 Pensions Green Paper.

As we are not planning to increase state pension age beyond 65 we have not conducted nor commissioned the specific research raised in the question. However, DWP research report 182 "Working after State Pension Age: Quantitative Analysis" finds that those choosing to work beyond state pension age are much more likely than those not working to report excellent or very good health status. The findings from this report also indicate that those remaining in work beyond state pension age were as least as likely to maintain good health status as all other groups, and found some limited evidence that work could lead to improvements in health status. A copy of the report is available in the Library.