Thursday 4 February 2016

Government must act to end pension injustice of women born in the 1950s

Courtesy of  The Wigan Evening Post
The 1995 Pensions Act increased the state pension age for women from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and 2020, to bring it in line with that of men. But in 2011 the coalition government moved the goalposts. They decided to accelerate the rise in the women's state pension age from April 2016 so that it reached 65 by November 2018, then rising to 66 by 2020.

The impact of the 2011 Act to State Pension Age has been laid bare as figures reveal that over 12,000 women in the Borough born in the 1950s have been hit by the accelerated timetable, with significant changes to their State Pension age imposed without an appropriate notification period.

The women affected fall into three categories:

women born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1953 will have a pension age of between 60 and 63 by March 2016 (women born between 6 April 1951 and 5 April 1953 thus do not qualify for the new single-tier state pension whilst a man born on the same day does);
women born between 6 April 1953 and 5 December 1953 will have a pension age of between 63 and 65 by November 2018.
Finally, men and women born between 6 December 1953 and 5 April 1960 will see their pension ages be between 65 and 66 by October 2020.

Throughout the last Parliament the Pensions Act was a ticking time bomb for women across the Wigan Borough and the country. The Government knew that women born in the 1950s would be asked at very short notice to make alternative financial arrangements. The reality is that they simply could not do this in such a short time with the changes beginning to be introduced from this April.

Iain Duncan Smith has gone back on his promise to look at this issue and he now faces a backlash from women across the country who are only now beginning to realise the devastating impact on their future finances.

This is an injustice that the Government must now put right.

A petition organised by campaign group WASPI can be signed here.