John McDonnell repeats misleading claim about Conservative pension age plans

Published: 7th Nov 2019

In brief

Claim

The Conservatives’ ambition is a state pension age of 75.

Conclusion

This was recommended in a report by the Centre for Social Justice think tank. There’s no indication that it’s Conservative party policy.

“Their [the Conservatives] ambition: a state pension age of 75”.

John McDonnell, 7 November 2019

In a speech today, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said that the Conservatives’ ambition is a state pension age of 75.

This is not current Conservative party policy, and we first checked a version of this claim back in August.

A recommendation that the State Pension Age be increased to 75 by 2035 was made by the Centre for Social Justice, in a report published in August. The Centre for Social justice is the think tank that first proposed Universal Credit, and it is chaired by former Conservative work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

But this recommendation has not been adopted by the Conservative party. In August we spoke to the Department for Work and Pensions, which told us that it wasn’t government policy to do this. At the time of writing the Conservatives had not announced such a policy either.

State pension age in the UK is currently a little over 65 for both men and women. By October 2020 it will have risen to 66, from 66 to 67 between the years 2026 and 2028, and then from 67 to 68 between 2044 and 2046.

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