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However, one expert has said if the state pension age increase were to be brought forward in this way, some seven million people would be affected, waiting longer to receive the sum.

Catherine Foot, director of Phoenix Insights, added: “A strategy to raise the state pension age in line with average life expectancy is not an adequate policy response to the deep and growing health inequalities we experience in this country.

“Many people on low incomes in the UK fall out of work because of ill health and disability years, and in a significant number of cases, decades before reaching state pension age.

“We urgently need to take a more comprehensive look at the role the state pension plays alongside the working age benefits system and other initiatives such as auto-enrolment if we are to develop a policy response that genuinely addresses the realities of inequalities in work and health.”