The age at which a person can access the state pension in the United Kingdom will be raised over 2 years by 2037.
'There is a balance to be struck between funding of the state pension in years to come whilst also ensuring fairness for future generations of taxpayers'.
For decades, the state pension age was unchanged.
"The clear message is that anyone who wants more choice over how and when they retire can't rely exclusively on a state pension and should be reviewing their workplace or private pension provision".
However, Labour and charities were quick to condemn the plans, with the shadow work and pensions secretary, Debbie Abrahams, describing them as "anything but fair", and arguing that many pensioners faced a "toxic cocktail" of ill-health long before they reached 68.
In the Republic of Ireland the age at which people start to receive the State pension is now 66 but will rise to 67 in 2021 and 68 by 2028.
David Gauke, secretary of state for work and pensions, told parliament today that the increase would take place between 2037 and 2039, following a recommendation made by John Cridland's review of the UK's state pension system.
Gauke announced today that the pension age would rise from 67 to 68 from 2037 - seven years earlier than planned.
The UK government now spends 5.2 per cent of GDP on the state pension.
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Britain is just one of many developed economies that have been forced to raise their retirement ages as life expectancy increases.
Prudential retirement income expert Vince Smith-Hughes said saving more from a young age would give savers more flexibility over their retirement date.
"We can not allow this Government to push people to work longer and longer to pay for its failed austerity agenda".
'That's why Labour will leave the state pension age at 66, while we look again at the emerging evidence, with a view to guaranteeing a secure and healthy retirement for the many, not just the few'.
A statement from the department said this acceleration will bring retirement age "in line with continuing increases in life expectancy", because "people are living longer, and spending a larger proportion of their adult life in retirement than in the past".
"Since 1948 the State Pension has been an important part of society, providing financial security to all in later life".
And she said it would hit particularly hard in Scotland, which has lower life expectancy rates than the rest of the UK. The Tories said they would replace it with a double lock in 2020, scrapping the 2.5 percent provision.
'The clear message is that anyone who wants more choice over how and when they retire can't rely exclusively on a state pension and should be reviewing their workplace or private pension provision'.
"This is the double bite of austerity - workers are expected to work longer and could now be at risk of dying sooner".