The Conservatives announced today that they would bring forward a proposed rise in the State Pension Age for men. Thank goodness for that. When life expectancy is rising – as it has been for years – there are only two choices you have if you want to avoid an ever decreasing standard of living for pensioners: you can increase the contributions before retirement or make people retire later. For State Pensions, If you don’t do the latter you will be forced to do the former. As well as being politically unacceptable, cutting State Pensions would just mean that more people needed income support – the State would have to pay in some way.

Increasing the State Pension Age could mean that people continue to contribute to the economy for longer and do not require support from it until later. Of course, this can only happen if people are allowed to work for later – and the failure of the recent challenge on forced retirement suggests that work is needed here – but this does not change the fact that increasing retirement ages is the right way forward