Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Public Service Pension Age [December 2002]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 17 December 2002.

As part of proposed reforms to reflect improved longevity, modern working patterns, and practice in most private sector pension schemes, future civil servants, teachers and NHS staff may need to work until 65 rather than 60 to get their full pension. The proposed changes would be made by 2006. Present public service employees’ pension rights already earned will be fully protected and existing staff will still be able to retire at 60 years if they wish.

The proposals, set out in the Green Paper “Simplicity, Security And Choice: Working And Saving For Retirement”, would raise the pension age in the civil service and other public service pension schemes from 60 to 65.

It is likely that individual schemes will wish to introduce the new pension age as part of a package of measures for their members, which may offer benefit improvements and can take advantage of new flexibilities and simplification proposed in the Green Paper.

Schemes will consult on how and when the higher pension age and any associated enhancement to benefits could be extended to existing employees, while protecting rights already built up before the change and ensuring that all existing members will be able to receive a pension from the age they currently expect.

The reviews of the public service schemes will be the subject of consultation with unions and staff representatives and are likely to take a few years to complete, but once introduced the higher pension ages would apply to all new entrants.

In many areas there is a demand from employees to work for longer, and it is appropriate to encourage and reward that accordingly. The change would help the financial sustainability of public service schemes.