Department for Work and Pensions


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Updated 12 July 2012

Pensions Reform

The Pensions Act 2011

The Pensions Bill 2011 received Royal Assent on 3 November 2011.

The Act puts into law changes to the State Pension age timetable. From April 2016, women's State Pension age will rise faster than originally planned, equalising with men's at 65 by November 2018. Between December 2018 and October 2020, men and women's State Pension ages will be increased from 65 to 66.

The Act also:

  • implements workplace pension reform measures from the Making Automatic Enrolment Work Review; and
  • allows contributions to be taken towards the cost of providing personal pension benefits to current judicial pensions scheme members.

You can find details of the Act’s passage through Parliament on the Parliament website

We published a number of supporting documents when the Bill was introduced to Parliament, including the impact assessment. We updated the impact assessment on 21 November to reflect the content of the Act when it received Royal Assent. This is included with the Pensions Act 2011 – supporting documents.

Further increases in State Pension age

Under the current law State Pension age will already increase to:

  • 67 between 2034 and 2036
  • 68 between 2044 and 2046

The Government is considering how the State Pension age should be changed in the future and have announced that State Pension age will now increase to 67 sooner between 2026 and 2028. This change to the timetable is not yet law and will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny when legislation is introduced. We will publish more details when they are available.

Pension reform for the future

The Government’s aim is to create a simpler state pension system to encourage more private saving. With the introduction of automatic enrolment in 2012, individuals can decide whether to stay in or opt out of a workplace pension.

A simpler system will mean individuals are better able to make informed decisions about how much they need to save privately. This will make it easier to plan for their retirement.

In April 2011, we published a consultation paper, setting out two potential options for simplifying the state pension system. We published a summary of responses to the consultation in July 2011.

More detail will be set out on both the state pension reform and State Pension age review mechanism in a white paper in the Autumn.

Background to pensions reform

Information about the development of pensions reform up to 2010 can be found on the following pages: