State Pension Change To Affect Thousands Of Local Women

Ruth Cadbury slams change which will 'cause misery' to women born in the 1950s

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A total of 4,470 women in Brentford and Isleworth are likely to be affected by changes in the state pension age according to MP Ruth Cadbury.

She said it was unfair that women born in the 1950s, who will be affected by the change, were given just one year notice of a six-year increase in their state pension age, which does not give them time to prepare ahead.

The State pension Rules change on April 6th 2016, and is gradually increasing for women, from 60 to 65. It's 62 and a half since April 2015. You can check your eligibility on the government calculator

From December 2018, it will start to increase for both men and women and reach 66 by October 2020. The government is planning further increases, which will raise the state pension age from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028. They will then review it every five years in line with life expectancy.

Using House of Commons Library research and statistics provided by Richard Graham MP who sits on the House of Commons Work and Pensions committee, Ruth Cadbury estimated that of those affected by the change in the B & I constituency, 1300 will not be fully aware of the changes to their state pension.

Ruth said ‘Like many MPs, over the past few months I have had a flurry of emails from women who are extremely concerned about their future and how the equalisation will affect them financially. They are rightly angry about the lack of fairness. The fact that women were given just two years’ notice of a six-year increase in their state pension age, while men received six years’ notice of a one-year rise, is representative of just how unfair the changes are’.

Ruth said she is generally supportive of the equalisation of state pension age but argues that transitional arrangements must be made to give women time to plan for their retirement.

She also highlighted that in the UK older women often have difficulty seeking employment and often end up in low pay, low status jobs with zero-hours contracts. She said ‘Many of those women had career breaks. Many earned less than men doing equivalent work, and many suffered gender discrimination in the era before the Equal Pay Act 1970. Many women affected by the changes were working at a time when few women worked in well remunerated professional roles with occupational pensions.’

"One constituent of mine was not informed of the changes and only found out due to divorce proceedings. She was formerly a pro tennis player and a coach. Due to the nature of her field, she had to retire from the sport as she got older and retrained in childcare to get her through to 60. It is now not only too late for her to retrain in another field, but too early for her to retire. She is stuck struggling with the demands of caring for small children and counting down the days until she can finally retire."

She added: "We cannot overlook the misery that this change is causing people. The former Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, said that his one regret during his tenure was that he “pushed too hard and too fast on raising women’s state pension age." I plead with the current Minister to learn from the mistakes of the past’.

February 5, 2016

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