PEOPLE in an independent Scotland will not have to wait until they are 75 before receiving their state pension, according to ministerial insiders in Edinburgh.

The prospect of working 10 years longer than the current retirement age was put forward by a leading Tory think tank at the weekend.

In a report published on Sunday, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) proposed an increase of the pension age to 70 by 2028 and 75 by 2035.

The pension age is already set to increase from 65 to 67 by 2028 and to 68 by 2046 – but the organisation, co-founded by former Conservative leader and work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan-Smith (pictured right), wants to see a faster increase. But responding to the proposal Scottish Government insider insisted there was no way Scots in a newly independent country would have to wait until their mid seventies before retiring.

“It is simply inconceivable that in an independent Scotland people would face the prospect of being forced to work into their mid-70s before they could retire,” the source said.

“This policy may please the hard right of the Tory Party, but, as with so much else under Boris Johnson, it simply shows why Scotland would be far better off making these decisions for ourselves.“

READ MORE: What’s the state pension like in other countries across the world?

The source added: “The prospect of the state retirement age being raised to 75 will, rightly, horrify people across Scotland and will only succeed in convincing even more people that our future lies as an independent country.”

In its report, Ageing Confidently: Supporting an ageing workforce, the CSJ think tank states: “As we prepare for the future, we must prioritise increasing the opportunity to work for this demographic to reduce involuntary worklessness. For the vulnerable and marginalised, a job offers the first step away from state dependence, social marginalisation and personal destitution. In addition, provided that this support is in place, we propose an increase in the state pension age to 75 by 2035.

“While this might seem contrary to a long-standing compassionate attitude to an older generation that have paid their way in the world and deserve to be looked after, we do not believe it should be. Working longer has the potential to improve health and wellbeing, increase retirement savings and ensure the full functioning of public services for all.”

Pension were used as a battleground during the independence referendum campaign in 2014 with former PM Gordon Brown arguing Scots would lose their state pension under independence. The Yes side denied that with The Scottish Government White Paper accepting that the pension age would have to rise to 66, but said any further rise to 67 was a concern. It pointed out: “Lower life expectancy in Scotland compared to the UK means that Scots currently enjoy fewer years in receipt of the state pensions.”

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: Principle on which we base the state pension is flawed

Scotland’s life expectancy is currently 77.0 for men and 81.1 for women. However in Glasgow, it is only 73.3 for men (78.7 for women), meaning more than half of men would never reach State Pension age. Healthy life expectancy is considerably lower, at 62.6 years for women and 62.3 for men in Scotland – around a year lower than the UK figures.

Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said: “Raising the State Pension age to 75 would be a retrograde step that would have a devastating impact on Scotland’s poorest older people.

“Lower-paid workers and women are already less likely to have a private pension, meaning they rely solely on their State Pension to live on in retirement.

“Many are unable to work later due to health issues or caring responsibilities, and this would plunge hundreds of thousands more into poverty.”