The government has said that the state pension age will rise to 66 in 2020.
The announcement was initially made in the Comprehensive Spending Review but has now received official confirmation.
The state pension age for women was set to climb from 60 to 65 by 2020 and the state retirement age for both men and women to 66 by 2026 under plans laid down by the previous government.
However, the new timetable will see the equalisation of retirement ages between men and women advanced by two years to 2018 and the state pension age raised to 66 for both in 2020, six years earlier than previously scheduled.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said that the equalisation between the state retirement ages for men and women will be speeded up but from April 2016 rather at once.
That means the state pension age for women will lift to 65 by November 2018 and then rise again to 66 in April 2020, the date at which men will see an extra year added to their working lives.
The move up to 66 years will be managed by increasing the state pension age three months in every four month period.
Steve Webb, the Minister of State for Pensions, said: “We are all living longer than ever before, and it is important for government to take this into account when developing policy.
“As longevity increases it is only fair that costs are shared among the generations. Accordingly, the Government has decided to bring forward the increase in the state pension age to 66.
“Although women will experience the rise in the state pension age more quickly than previously planned, they will still draw the state pension for longer, and our ‘triple guarantee’ means someone retiring today on a full basic state pension will receive £15,000 more over their retirement than they would have done under the old prices link.”
The DWP added: “This decision means a total of 4.9 million people in Great Britain will have their SPA revised. Of these, 4.4 million men and women will have an increase in SPA of a year or less.”