65 is often seen as a finish line, signifying the end of your working life and the start of retirement. But 65 is no longer state pension age for most.


Sixty-five years old has long been considered a pivotal age. For example, the Office of National Statistics (OBR) splits the labour market into two main categories: aged 16 to 64 and aged 65 and over. Some concessionary prices are based on having reached age 65, which is still widely thought of as the age when men receive their state pension.


However, sixty-five ceased to be the state pension age (SPA) – for men and women – on 6 December 2018. It is now somewhere between four and five months beyond 65 years. By 6 October 2020, SPA will have reached 66. Five and a half years later another graduated change to increase it to 67 will begin, finishing in April 2028.


Under current law, the state pension age is due to increase to 68 between 2044 and 2046. However, following a review the government has announced plans to bring this forward, proposing to increase the state pension age to 68 between 2037 and 2039.


No one born on or before 5 April 1970 will see a change to their current proposed state pension age.


Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke, said:


“I want Britain to be the best country in the world in which to grow old, where everyone enjoys the dignity and security they deserve in retirement.


“Since 1948 the State Pension has been an important part of society, providing financial security to all in later life. As life expectancy continues to rise and the number of people in receipt of State Pension increases, we need to ensure that we have a fair and sustainable system that is reflective of modern life and protected for future generations.


“Combined with our pension reforms that are helping more people than ever save into a private pension and reducing pensioner poverty to a near record low, these changes will give people the certainty they need to plan ahead for retirement.”


Coincidentally, those National Statistics on employment show that more than one in ten people aged sixty-five and over are in work and the numbers have been gradually but consistently increasing over the past 12 months. If this year’s summer holiday makes you dream of retirement, don’t get ahead of yourself. You might well be working beyond 65.


Check your state pension age with the government’s SPA calculator.

Auto-enrolment is the government’s workplace pension initiative. To find out more about paying into a workplace pension, visit the government website.