Under the options that the government is considering, poorer workers may be able to receive their state pensions sooner than those who are more fortunate.

A review of the retirement age by the government will focus on the effect in different areas of the country, as well as consider ‘different characteristics or opportunities’ for workers.

Boris Johnson’s Levelling Up drive has called on ministers to make ‘healthy life expectancy’ a central part of their pensions systems.

It is expected that the review will confirm the move to accelerate the raising of the state’s pension age to at least 68 so it can cover those who were born after 1970. 

The government said four years ago that it intends to bring the date forward seven years from the current legal schedule, saying it was ‘fair’ and would save around £74billion.

However, the terms of reference for the review which is being conducted by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, a Tory peer, suggests that ministers may be considering more fundamental reforms.

In addition to regional disparities, the review should also consider the consequences for people with diverse characteristics and opportunities (including those who are at greater risk of being disadvantage). 

Red Wall constitutees won by Tories in 2019 General Election are some of the regions with low life expectancies. 

The ageing population and rising life expectancy have been pushing up the costs of the state pension for decades

For decades, the rising cost of state pensions has been driven up by an aging population and a growing life expectancy. 

Ministers are being urged to put 'healthy' life expectancy at the heart of the pensions system as part of Boris Johnson's 'Levelling Up' drive

Boris Johnson’s Levelling Up drive has called for ministers to make ‘healthy life expectancy’ a central part of the pensions systems.

In 2026 and 2028, the average age for which someone may start to claim their state-provided pension is expected to increase gradually. 

It is expected to rise to 68 under current legislation between 2044-2047.

This has been stated by the government, although it is likely that this will be confirmed in the recent review.

The state pension is currently worth more than £9,350 a year to retirees. 

Anyone who has 35 years of full national insurance contributions gets the full provision of £179.60 per week.

MailOnline was told by Baroness Altmann that the former minister for pensions said the government should not use the review to increase the age of the state’s pension, particularly with large differences in the health lives expectancy throughout the country.

She stated that if we want to Level Up, then raising the age of the state pension is not the best way to go. This is because the average life expectancy in the country has been rising.

“I prefer flexibility at the State Pension Age. There are vast differences in the life expectancy of people.

“The most vulnerable people, who have probably had less income over their life expectancy, are the least likely to receive a pension private and rely solely on the state.

Lady Altmann stated that those living in the lowest 19 percent of incomes ‘only remain healthy on average until age 50. 

She added that “For the top 10% of the country, they are in good health and live to around 70 years old on average.”

They can work until their 60s because they’re still in good health. The less fortunate have been in serious health problems for at least fifteen years.

The review is being led by Tory peer Baroness Neville-Rolfe and due to finish in May 2023

Therese Coffey

Review announced by Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffee (right), is being lead by Tory peer Baroness Neville-Rolfe and will finish in May 2023 

The peer however warned it wasn’t acceptable to balance the books by putting the burden of health on the shoulders of the most poor and the sickest.

“I am not optimistic, because I have serious concerns that this is all about increasing the state pension age. And to save money.

“When I was a minister, I felt a strong desire to push for a 70-year old pension age and continue with the program.” 

 In the most extreme cases, there is a 21-year gap in life expectancy between women in the most affluent area of the borough of Camden, north London, at 95.4 years, and women living in the most deprived area of Leeds, at 74.4, according to a King’s College study.

Sir Steve Webb was an ex-pensions minister and said the government could increase the state retirement age regardless of the outcome.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘This includes regional differences and should open the debate about healthy life expectancy – the ability to keep working – and how it varies hugely across the country. 

“A person might live to 80, but they may not be healthy enough to continue working past the state’s pension age. 

Becky O’Connor of Interactive Investor stated that many will have worked long hours in anticipation of retiring at 65. These people have already been disappointed and are likely to again.

“Continually changing the goalposts in this way doesn’t only lead to disillusionment; it can also have big consequences for retirement planning.”

Therese coffey, Work and Pensions Secretary, announced the review. She said that she wanted to ensure fairness for both pensioners and taxpayers in her decisions about how to handle the cost of the state pension.

The Office for Budget Responsibility reported that 12.7 percent of the population were 65 years or older in 1966-67, however, this number has increased and is projected to reach 19.9 per cent by 2024-25.