20 million Brits get access to pensions early – here’s when you could get yours

Millions of Brits could have an early retirement to look forward to as they may be eligible to get their State Pension paid early.

The state pension age is scheduled to rise from 66 to 67 by 2028, in the next Parliament.

This change is based on the government's life expectancy calculations, which have been designed to make sure we don't spend more than a third of our adult lives in retirement according to the Mirror.

However, as there hasn't been any improvement or changes to life expectancy, bringing the state pension age forward means that 20 million Brits could end up retiring earlier than planned. Here is everything you need to know.

How is state pension age calculated?

In 2013, the government stated that state pension age should be linked to life expectancy. The idea behind this is that if we all keep living longer, then state pension ages would automatically be connected to rising life expectancy.

In theory, this means that state pension age shouldn't change if the life expectancy does not change. Under this formula, the state pension age should move to 68 between 2039 and 2041.

Under the most recent population estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a 66-year-old woman's life expectancy has reduced by two years to 87.

This means that the increase to 67 will not be needed until 2051, and the increase to 68 will not be needed until the mid-2060s. A delay of 23 years in changing the state pension age would then allow millions of Brits to retire at 66 rather than 67.

Do current plans to increase state pension age need to change?

Former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb has warned that the schedule for state pension age increases "has not caught up" where life expectancy improvements have come to a halt.

He said: "This analysis shows that current plans to increase the state pension age to 67 by 2028 need to be revisited as a matter of urgency," adding that there is no need for another increase so soon since pension ages for men and women reached 66 just last year.

Sir Webb's warning comes just days after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced a second review of the state pension age to assess if retirement age remains appropriate. The review will be published in May, 2023.

How to check the age you can access your State Pension at

Your State Pension age is the earliest age from when you can start receiving your State Pension.

You can check when you'll be able to access your payment on the government website.

You'll also be able to check your Pension Credit qualifying age and when you'll be eligible for free bus travel using this tool.

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