Lord Turner, author of the recent highly controversial report into the state of the UK pensions system, has issued a stark warning to public sector workers that they cannot rely on being able to retire at 65.

Lord Turner’s comments came as he gave evidence to the parliamentary select committee on work and pensions in the aftermath of his recent report. He told MPs that extended life expectancy meant that public sector employees could no longer assume a retirement at 65 – the current standard retirement age in the UK. The Turner Report suggested that this limit be raised to 68 years progressively over the decades to come.

However, Lord Turner also acknowledged that public sector pension provision was beyond the remit of his commission’s investigation.

New recruits to the UK’s major public sector pension schemes – including teachers and NHS workers – are now to be given a statutory retirement age of 65, however the government was forced to back down on imposing this higher age on existing members after trade unions threatened mass strike action.

Lord Turner also said that his Pensions Commission would produce a ‘sign off’ document in the Spring of 2006, responding to feedback and criticism of the full report.