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Carers UK responds to independent review of State Pension age

13 October 2016

A consultation on the State Pension age was launched today following the publication of an independent interim report by John Cridland CBE on ensuring the State Pension age remains affordable and fair for all beyond 2028

Mr Cridland was appointed in March as the government’s independent reviewer of State Pension age and will deliver his final recommendations next year, following the consultation.

Carers were identified as a significant group in the interim report. Mr Cridland highlighted that around 1 in 10 adults have caring responsibilities, with this number set to increase in the future. He also noted that carers are more likely to have breaks in their work history, leading to an estimated 4% gap between carers’ and non-carers’ average income in retirement.

In response, Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“We welcome the recognition in today’s interim report from John Cridland that the impact of any change to the State Pension Age would have a serious impact on those caring unpaid. Carers UK’s research suggests that over 2 million people have given up work at some point to provide care and a further 3 million people have reduced their hours; and this can have long-term financial implications [1]. What’s more, women aged 45-54 are more than twice as likely as men to have given up work to care and over 4 times more likely to have reduced working hours to care [2].

“Research suggests that the tipping point for care will come as soon as 2017, where the number of older people in need of care is expected to outstrip the number of working-age family members able to provide it [3]. As the Government develops its new Carers Strategy, prepares to encourage people to work into later life, and reviews the State Pension Age, carers and the increased support they need to combine work and care must be front and centre of the Government’s thinking.

“A well-funded NHS and care system – which provides affordable and flexible back-up support for families, allowing them to provide care without putting their lives and health on hold – is a necessary condition for extending working lives, as is greater help to access information and advice early about the support available for families and the implications of leaving work or reducing hours to care.”

-ENDS-

[1] Carers UK & YouGov poll, as part of Caring & Family Finances Inquiry: UK report by Carers UK, 2014

[2] Carers UK, Caring & Family Finances Inquiry: UK report, 2014

[3] Professor Linda Pickard, LSE (2013) A growing care gap? The supply of unpaid care for older people by their adult children in England to 2032, published in Ageing and Society

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