Mel Stride, the work and pensions secretary, has urged that ministers must "grasp the nettle" in order to move forward the increase in the state pension age to 68 in the first couple of years of the next parliament.
After deferring the decision due to rising life expectancy, Stride said that it would still have to be made, but that it would most likely be one for his successor in the role and that individuals would still be given ten years' notice.
He also said that there are "no plans currently" to modify the triple lock on pension increases in the next Conservative manifesto, but he did not promise that it will be preserved.
Stride made the statements while speaking to journalists at a lunch in Westminster, when asked whether the government would reconsider raising the pension age in the future in light of the riots and demonstrations in France.
"I don't think it's in our national psyche to start rioting and burning things over the state pension," said the labour and pensions secretary, a close supporter of Rishi Sunak.
Finally, I decided to defer because of Covid
and economic uncertainty, as well as the fact that the most essential thing is that you give them 10 years' notice of any change."
The range of dates for raising the state pension age from 67 to 68 goes far into the 2030s: you're looking at the 2030s, 40s, or somewhere in between.
There's no reason why we can't wait until the first couple of years of the next parliament to make the choice and still give people ten years' notice."
However, he said that the choice must still be made.
"There is a real tension because, looking at the OBR's fiscal sustainability reports for the next 50 years...
the demographic changes and pension costs are really weighing in the wrong direction." So there will come a moment when the nettle must be grabbed, but not until someone other than me is in the [position]," Stride said, implying that he does not see himself being work and pensions secretary after the next election.
In response to a question regarding the triple lock on pensions, which ensures that payouts would grow by the greater of inflation, wages, or 2.5%, Stride said that there were "no plans currently" to remove it from the next Conservative election programme.
"I think the triple lock is a decision for the PM and others, and there are no plans to change the triple lock," he said.
This year, retirees will enjoy a 10% increase at a time when pay growth is only approximately 5.5% due to rising inflation.
According to current proposals, the state pension age of 66 will be raised to 67 in 2026-2028, and subsequently to 68 in 2044-2046, impacting anyone born after April 1977.
According to a 2017 government analysis, the latter range should be pushed back to the late 2030s, forcing millions of individuals born in the early 1970s who anticipated to retire at 67 to wait another year.
According to reports in January, authorities wanted to push forward this hike to 2035, impacting persons aged 54 and under today, in response to Treasury lobbying aimed at saving billions of pounds in state pension payments.
However, with a general election due in the fall of next year, ministers worried a reaction from middle-aged voters.
Riots in France over plans to raise the country's pension age from 62 to 64 have also alarmed UK authorities..