The public is ready to accept retirement at 68 if it creates a fairer pensions system, according to a Government Minister.
James Purnell said voters had come round to the need for drastic reforms, as he visited the West Midlands.
"If we had proposed increasing the retirement age three or four years ago I think there would have been opposition, but people now understand why it needs to be done."
He was in Stourbridge, accompanied by local MP Lynda Waltho (Lab), meeting women who have spent much of their lives caring for relatives, as part of a tour of the country to explain why the changes are needed.
The Government's pensions White Paper, published in May, proposed reforms which will ensure carers become eligible for a full pension even though they are not in paid employment.
But it also included plans to increase the pension age to 68. No one over the age of 47 will be affected by the changes but anyone who is 27 or younger will have to work at least an extra three years before getting their state pension.
Mr Purnell said: "We put forward a package which has many benefits, and one of the key ways of making it affordable is that the state pension age will rise. Only 30 per cent of women get a full state pension while 90 per cent of men do. We are changing that.
"It is important to recognise women's caring contribution because we are saying it is a pensions system for men and not for women, which cannot be right.
"Opposition to increasing the pensions age is not as strong as some people predicted. We have tried to make the argument as to why it is necessary.
"At the moment there are four people working for every every one in retirement.
"By 2050, there will be two working for every one in retirement. At the same time, life expectancy is rising."
The reforms would also allow Government to restore the link between pensions and earnings.
But increasing the retirement age is not the only reform. Other changes will include a new private savings scheme which employees are automatically enrolled into.
"The people who are not saving are the 20, 30 and 40-year-olds. We think there are about seven million people who are not saving.
"The last few years have shown that a purely voluntary approach doesn't work. That is why we are introducing a new scheme."
From 2012, people without adequate occupational pensions will be automatically enrolled into new low-cost personal pension accounts.
The self-employed will also be free to join.
"Employees will pay in four per cent of their salary, their employer will make a compulsory three per cent contribution and there will be one per cent tax relief, a total contribution worth eight per cent of salary.