Age UK, a British charity for older people, said people close to retirement age who have caring responsibilities or are likely to fall into long-term unemployment should be granted early access to state pensions.

"The pandemic has caused havoc in the labor market, and in the current climate many workers approaching the state pension age may find it very difficult to get another job. In reality, some may never work again, and it is important that the government takes firm action to help," Caroline Abrahams, CEO of Age UK, told the newspaper.

The official delay of retirement age came at a time when countries, such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

As recently as 2010, men in Britain traditionally retired at 65 while women received their state pension at 60, although men and women have had the same state pension age since 2018. Enditem