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Cridland: ageing population 'as big an issue as climate change'

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Cridland: ageing population 'as big an issue as climate change'

The UK's ageing population is 'as big an issue as climate change' according to John Cridland. 

Former CBI director general Cridland (pictured) was appointed to review the state pension age (SPA) by the government.

He published his report earlier this year. It made a number of recommendations to help the UK deal with the UK's  growing pensioner population, including increasing the SPA to 68 quicker than planned. 

Speaking at an Association of British Insurers (ABI) event today, Cridland warned more needed to be done to address problems posed by an older population.

'There is very strong growth in people hitting 80, then 90, then 100 and we need to find ways in telling that story because we have to bring that consequence home to people,' he said.

'I would argue it is not just a pensions issue, it is a health issue and the ageing society for the next generation is as big an issue for this country and the world as climate change. That is no way to devalue the significance of climate change, but I haven't seen anywhere near as much debate in the media about ageing society than about climate change.'

Super rich

Cridland also said the state pension is becoming ever crucial for the vast majority of the population.

'Even the top quintile of retirees on income get half of their income from the state pension, just a staggering statistic. It is only the super rich who won't need the state pension,' he said. 

Cridland said stopping this group of super rich people from receiving the state pension would not benefit the government. 

'The means testing is a little like the 50p tax rate debate it may have a moral purpose but it is not a financial panacea because when you set up a complicated tax regime to means test something that results from national insurance, you would be surprised at how little net finance you gain,' he said. 

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