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Is this the solution to women’s State Pension woes?

205 Comments

Thousands of women have been hit by the rising state pension age. But MPs think they might have the answer

MPs have slammed the way the government has handled the rise in the women’s State Pension Age and have set out options they think could help reduce the impact. 

Could early access to the State Pension help thousands of women hit by the rising retirement age?A report by MPs on the Work and Pensions Select Committee – a cross-party group that examines government policies – said the government did “too little, too late” to warn thousands of women born in the early 1950s who have seen their State Pension Age rise by up to six years. 

The report says: “Previous governments could have done a lot better in communicating the changes. While the last and current governments have done more to communicate State Pension Age changes than their predecessors, this has been too little too late for many women. Many thousands of women justifiably feel aggrieved.” 

The Select Committee has put forward a series of suggestions that could provide at least a partial solution. 

The Select Committee suggests the government could:

  • Delay the increase in the State Pension Age or slow it down 
  • Allow affected women to have access to Pension Credit earlier
  • Put in transitional pension benefits 
  • Allow affected women to take their State Pension early, but at a lower rate 

It said the last idea – early access to a reduced State Pension – was “an interesting option and one the government should explore”. 

How might early access to the State Pension work? 

The Select Committee suggested early access to the State Pension should be ‘actuarially neutral’ – that is, someone retiring early would get the same amount over time as if they had retired at their normal State Pension Age. It gave examples of how it could work: 

In one example, a woman reaching State Pension Age on 6 January 2021 (aged 66), could choose to take her State Pension nine months earlier, on 6 April 2020. If she was eligible for the full New State Pension of £155.65, she would get £149.58 per week – a reduction of £6.07. 
  
Committee member John Glen MP said: "Lack of adequate notification of State Pension Age changes demands transitional arrangements, but implemented in an affordable way. This report recommends a possible way forward which the government should now explore."

Why is it such a big issue? 

The rise in the State Pension Age for women, which will reach 65 – the same age as men – by November 2018 and 66 by 2020 has been condemned by pressure group Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI). 

WASPI is leading a high-profile online campaign to get ‘fair transitional arrangements’ for affected women and has attracted over 170,000 supporters, which led to a parliamentary debate in early February. 

Anne Keen, from WASPI, says: “We are delighted in the interest that our campaign has received since its launch, highlighting the injustice served upon the women affected by the changes and the subsequent increase to the signatures to our petition. 

“We are looking forward to meeting with the cross party group to discuss ways forward in relation to the government making fair, non-means-tested transitional arrangements  for all of the women affected.”

The change to women’s State Pension Age has proved to be controversial, as a poll of retiresavvy readers has found. 

One in four (25%) respondents believe that the State Pension Age should be the same for men and women, and two fifths (45%) do actually agree with the government’s change, stating it’s fair. 

More than a fifth (21%) agree that appropriate steps should be in place to make it a gentler transition for the women who were given short notice, while one in 10 (9%), still believe men and women should have different retirement ages.  

What happens next? 

The Select Committee says it intends to investigate the idea further in the coming weeks, and it is important to point out that this is not government policy – just a suggestion from MPs. But it does provide a clear vision of what the government could do to help affected women. 

Despite WASPI’s great success in raising the profile of the issue and forcing it on to the political agenda, they’ve not been able to point to what the ‘fair transitional arrangements’ they’re asking for could look like – now they can. 

There are lots of details still to iron out. For example, the Select Committee says early access should only be for “a specified age and for a defined [group] of women”, so it’s unclear who could be eligible and what cut-off point there could be. 

The Select Committee also says it could be unfair to men who will also see their State Pension Age rise from 65 to 66 – and in that case, would they also be offered some form of early access? 

Perhaps most importantly for the government, there are big questions over what it might cost. With the government committed to cutting spending, anything that involves extra costs in the short term will be scrutinised carefully.  

Are you affected by the change in the women’s state pension age? What do you think of these plans? Let us know below or have your say in the Forum

Read more like this: 

This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.

Comments

The state pension is a right which we have paid into. We don't want benefits, we want what we have paid in to. I have paid in to the naton insurance for over forty years and would like my pension now.
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What people fail to realise,we 50s women star work at 14, unless we had parents that could afford to let us stay at college. 1967/8. In real terms 48 !! With a couple off for children. I think I am entitled to be appeaved that this government changed the goal post twice for me, #1
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#1.1 I totally agree I started full time work at 15 I have paid my dues I have never claimed benefits I just want what I am entitled to which is my state pension NOW ! Woman in their early 60s can not even have a free bus pass until they can claim state pension . Let woman over 60 retire if that is their choice and give the young people a chance to work and earn a living the way we have had to for over 40 years!
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I will be 60 in 7 days time, but now have to wait a further 6 years before I can claim the pension I am entitled to. The scheme I have paid into all my working life. Whats going to happen to the £48k ,rightfully mine, that would be due over the next 6 years?? And as for the MPs suggestions..... take a smaller sum a little earlier? The second word is OFF!!! why should we? How dare they suggest solving the problem by offering a smaller amount.... crumbs from the Lords table??
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Please remember that the lack of notice about the rise in State Pension age is not confined to a group of women born in the early part of the 1950's. this affects millions I was born in 1957 and received just one letter in July 2013 advising that my pension was going up from 60 to 65 and due to another Act going up to 66. My pension age has gone up 6 years with three years notice. I have paid 40 years of National insurance and already qualified for a full state pension.
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I personally would prefer access to Pension Credit or at least some sort of pensioner status. I was made redundant at 60 and after 5 months of fruitless job searching, I am considering early retirement. My private pension pot would only provide me with a lifetime flat income of about £30 a week and so isn't really feasible. My other option is to exhaust all of my private pension pot over the next 6 years to provide me with an income of £115 per week until I reach 66. However I would still be classified as 'of working age' and would not be entitled to any pensioner benefits. The prospect of a reduced state pension does not fill me with much hope as I suspect the reduction in amount would be more than £30 per week for a pension taken 6 years early. It's all a complete mess and I don't see how a 5+ years rise in pension age is deemed as acceptable. This sense of injustice is compounded with the fact that the government has ended the accrual of additional pension after April 2016.
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Hi its not fair that previous women got the chance to retire at 60 and I have to wait till im 66 in my line of work I will not last that long and that worries me I also have been working since I was 16 and have paid a full stamp for fourty years this is so unfair let us retire fill our jobs with the unemployed and let them pay the taxes the goverment need and save on employment benefits its not hard to work this .out so angry .
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Me too
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#6 and don't forget if you had sat on your sofa watching daytime tv, you would still get the pension!
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Angry, no I'm not angry I'm furious, how dare they think they can do us out of our pensions, I worked from the age of 15, I now have the indignity of signing on and looking for work I suffer from arthritis and struggle , I don't want handouts, I just want what is rightfully mine. My pension, not reduced and certainly not have to wait til 2020.which is my new pension age. I'm 62 now we don't have an issue with equalling the age with men. Just want what is ours. I had no letters whatsoever ever informing us of rises in the pension age. Angry don't come close.!! I'm worn out, give the next generation a chance to work and pay in to the pot. Non of this makes sense to me.
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I'm 62 so have already lived without my expected pension for over 2 years. Until a few months ago I still worked, but my last 2 year post finished at the end of 2015. To my fearful disappointment I've had not a single interview for the jobs I have applied to since. I have paid in 42 years of NI contributions already. Personally I'd prefer to work, but if that continues to be impossible to have a form of JSA now. This could be for all over 60's of both genders, without having to endure pretend job experience or face sanctions if we get to a job centre late or in some way contravene the systemic bullying rules. Because of these frightening humiliations I have not signed on. My small retirement savings are melting away. But I'm bleak about having to face an entire retirement in penury if I take a reduced pension early. What a punishing prospective choice this is - semi-starve now to ensure I get my full pension in 2019, or live on an inadequate income for the rest of my life.
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What about the woman like myself (I'm 63) who can now actually claim my pension but I had to wait an extra 3 years to do so. Any renumeration for us? I've actually been diddled out of £16,000 !!!
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I am 62 years old, and was made redundant 2 years ago, I am now having to face the humiliation of having to sign on every 2 weeks at the Job Centre, I have applied for loads of jobs, and have had several interviews without any joy, how can the Government say that Ageism is a thing of the past, I have worked and paid into the system for 40 years, I was born just a few months after my Sister-In-Law in the same year 1953, and I have to wait almost 2 and a half years after her to collect my pension, this is all wrong! I have never received any letters regarding the change in the state pension from the DWP, so how are we supposed to be prepared for this change!
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I agree with Suedemp. What about those of us who are receiving our pensions but had to wait pat our 60th birthday. I am now 64 and didn't get my pension till I was 62yrs 9months. We have been robbed of thousands and should be repaid, and before we are too old to enjoy it!!!!!
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I have paid my dues for the last 40+ years ! Got diddled on Maternity money and have not been a burden on benefits or Sickness pay. The government should be made to give us what was rightfully ours. They said I should have paid into it until I was 60. I kept my end of the bargain. They have made other companies responsible for their errors on mis selling like PPI ! Now they should take responsibility !
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I am 60 in September and was looking forward to retirement. I have also paid over 40 years national insurance. I believe we have been robbed of 6 years of our retirement through all these changes with our pensions. Its not on and should be revised ASAP. I can not understand why we have to work longer when there are so many younger people out there who can not get a job. If you choose to stay in work after your 60 then let it be your own choice rather than being forced to stay in work. Some of us are not fit enough now with medical issues and need to retire at 60 so we can enjoy the time we have left on this earth.
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I would just like to have my pension rights I am not asking for benefits. I got cancer at the age of 60 I am almost 62 and by the time I reach my new retirement date my grandchildren will be over 17 years old and won't have much time for nana. I would be happy if we had at least some of our pension allowances so that we can at least manage on part time work and maybe a bus pass for 60 year old.
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I will be 60 in a months time, i have already worked over 40yrs, i have reached the limit of my pension, which is a pension and not a benefit, i have paid into (MY PENSION NOT BENEFITS), all my working life i did not get any notice of the changes about the age going up. A men has only got to wait only another 12 months, where has we have got to wait 6 years, if you had left it at 62 this would not have been so bad, but 6 years is just joke i also would like to know where is the rest of are money that we have paid. The job that i do is manual, it is taking a lot out of me, i now have arthritis which will get worse in time, i will end up crippled and not be able to do the job, i will end up on benefits, which costs the tax payers, you are also stopping someone younger out of a job and i should think that there are a lot of women like myself.
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It's not just women born in the 50's that are affected. I was born in 1961 and will have to wait until I'm 67 to get my state pension. I have worked for the last 34 years and had assumed along with many others that I would retire at 60. Then it was 65, then , 67.
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It's not just women born in the 50's that are affected. I was born in 1961 and will have to wait until I'm 67 to get my state pension. I have worked for the last 34 years and had assumed along with many others that I would retire at 60. Then it was 65, then , 67.
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Sorry pressed the wrong button . Was going to continue with the point that I no longer believe I will be able to retire at 67 as I'm sure the government will have another change before then . I mean that is still 12 years away. Anything could happen I that time. I have a couple of private /company pensions which at one time I could have taken at 50 then they changed the rules and made it 55. Hopefully as that is on a few months away I might just get there before they change the rules again. I was made redundant 4 years ago and it took nearly a year to find another job.lived on savings as JSA didnt even cover rent and as i gad savings no other help available. Having been made redundant again and luck in finding a new job I am now working freelance but could have really done with being able to access my pension pots earlier. Just another example of how governments have cheated women, and men, out if what is rightfully their's. They should try living in the real world.
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Why did they not bring men's retiring age down to 60 same as women and then if either want to work past that age they can. If you have paid in you should be getting it out while you are still reasonably fit and able. They moan about clogging the NHS with old people, well looks like it's going to get worse if people are being made to work longer than expected. Yes some some people are in jobs and are happy to work longer, good on them, but if you have worked with the expectation of retiring at 60 and want/need to why should you be made to wait 6 years. Crazy world made up of robotic people!
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Why did they not bring men's retiring age down to 60 same as women and then if either want to work past that age they can. If you have paid in you should be getting it out while you are still reasonably fit and able. They moan about clogging the NHS with old people, well looks like it's going to get worse if people are being made to work longer than expected. Yes some some people are in jobs and are happy to work longer, good on them, but if you have worked with the expectation of retiring at 60 and want/need to why should you be made to wait 6 years. Crazy world made up of robotic people!
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If you are unhappy about the government robbing you of your state pension, then join us on WASPI and the online campaign, we are trying to make a diffrence, we need more supporters, and signatures, power in numbers. Join now help us to win back what is rightfully ours!
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It's not just the women born at the beginning of the 1950's who are being robbed. I was born August 1957 and will now be 67 when I can finally retire. I have 42 years of contributions to my state pension. If I had paid this into a bank and they refused to give me it at the time agreed when I opened the account I would be looking for justice through the legal system. Why should the government be treated any differently. By the way not all woman are living longer and some like myself are in poor health way before they reach the new pension age. I don't want benefits.I want MY HARD EARNED MONEY NEXT YEAR When I am 60 as agreed!!!!!
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It's not just the women born at the beginning of the 1950's who are being robbed. I was born August 1957 and will now be 67 when I can finally retire. I have 42 years of contributions to my state pension. If I had paid this into a bank and they refused to give me it at the time agreed when I opened the account I would be looking for justice through the legal system. Why should the government be treated any differently. By the way not all woman are living longer and some like myself are in poor health way before they reach the new pension age. I don't want benefits.I want MY HARD EARNED MONEY NEXT YEAR When I am 60 as agreed!!!!!
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It's just not right, we have been robbed out of a lot of money, mp's should also have there pension date put up. Iv worked in factory's all my life, I am 60 this year my hands bother me now so weather I will make another 6years is another thing, but it's worrying me to death, just like other people, I know a lot off men not reached 65 never mind another year, or they have had hip and knee operations, this is just not right and really needs reconsidering. I know people who as never reached retirement so what is saved then ??????????
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At 62 I'm one of the women who the government have done the dirty on. When we were bringing up our children, there was no help with childcare, breakfast clubs, holiday clubs, equality and diversity hadn't been invented and I certainly had to choose between caring for my children and having a career. As a result a majority of women of my age have had relatively modestly paid jobs. We were told we would retire at 60 and would receive a pension on our husbands' contributions. Not only have the government reneged on that, they have failed to protect us from discrimination by employers who are barely aware of the increased pension age and are looking for young graduates. I feel as though I have fallen down a black hole between pension change and age discrimination. We are also to be penalised if we contributed to an occupational pension. The final insult would be to be offered a reduced amount earlier - it is a totally unacceptable situation!
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I retired at 57 to look after my elderly parents so they would not be a burden on the state !!!! I fully expected to receive my state pension at 60 but now have to wait till I am 65 , I did not get a letter to inform me of any changes to the pension age despite the government saying letters were sent out to affected women , this rise of waiting another 5 yrs is grossly unfair as I have paid in to the system for over 40 yrs .
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I am 61 . I would like my pension now please . 10 years ago I planned to retire at 60 to look after my grandchildren to let my daughters work . In addition I care for my 82 year old mother .
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It's disgusting what they have done to us women nearing our 60th Birthdays. I lost my job and find it virtually impossible to find work. You are made to jump through hoops to get a pittance from jobseekers, not because you don't want to work but because you can't find any work. It's all part time or 0 hours contracts.
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How about giving us part of the 48k they have taken from us so we could invest it. And why is it that men only have to work an extra year were as women have to work an extra 6!!!!
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Like many posting here I was born in 1957. One of many thousands affected by the changes. Although I have an occupational pension it won't be enough to live on at 60. I also have a disability and health issues. What govt really want to do is keep increasing the pension age hoping that in thousands of cases they won't have to pay it as people die off. We should really take it to the ECHR.
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What people fail to realise,we 50s women star work at 14, unless we had parents that could afford to let us stay at college. 1967/8. In real terms 48 !! With a coup of for children. I think I am entitled to be appeaved that this government changed the goal post twice for me,
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I was born Oct 1956 left school at 15 and worked ever since including bringing 3 children up therefore I was looking forward to retirement at 60 . as due to arthritis in my knee, lupus and asthma finding my job hard to do now .I'm a domestic which is a hard physical job.
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It would be nice for to spend time with our family's and grandchildren. or do we have to work till we drop dead ...been at work since 15 years old I need a rest same as the others ... why is it that MP's and any government working people can still retire at 60 and 65 !!!!!!!!!!
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I certainly don't agree with going 9 months earlier at a reduced rate I have paid in for 44 years paying a full stamp I have already paid my dues this government are stealing 35k from me and many others. I want what I paid in retire at 60 with my full pension
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I certainly don't agree with going 9 months earlier at a reduced rate I have paid in for 44 years paying a full stamp I have already paid my dues this government are stealing 35k from me and many others. I want what I paid in retire at 60 with my full pension
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I was born in 1955 and like many others have seen my state pension age rise to 66 years. I have paid all my national insurance contributions, worked from the age of 16 apart from time off to raise my children. Last year I felt it necessary to take early retirement due to family commitments having an impact on my health. I was able to take a reduced private pension, which covers my bills and nothing else. A reduced early state pension would make all the difference to me and the state. After all, it would be the cheaper option to the state, otherwise my elderly mother would have to go into a care home as I may very soon have to seek employment again.
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I think the idea is cruel. It particularly hits/hurts women with no savings or other income. The temptation to accept a lower pension for life in exchange for escaping the poverty and humiliations of JSA would be great. For me, with a small savings pot and a part time work income, it would be a poor deal long term. For my neighbour of the same age with no savings at all, it would mean an entire old age of really low income, but would double her current money. I'd love a conference for women affected to fully share our views; I do find only online communications hard, as it would be great to have real listening and sharing session to pool ideas to take back to our MPs?
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I have been working an paying contributions for the past 47 years and my pension is my right. OK they want equality between the men and women but they have just dumped this on us. My older sister got to retire at 60 but I've just been penalised by a further 6 years without any noticeable warning. We should be eased into it not have it thrust upon us We are great at handing out money to help other countries what about helping the working women at home.
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I am very unhappy the way the pension age has risen I was born in 1956 and find it hard to have to wait until I am 66 to receive my pension I have enough contributions but now find myself having to look for work it is very stressful and degrading at my age to be in this position and you never know what the future holds what if I dont make my pension age. Since turning 60 my whole world has been turned upside down. I should have been relaxing now with my pension but instead I am one unhappy person.
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I have worked since age 17 with no break for children and have paid all my contributions. I am 62yrs and want my full pension now which is what I was led to believe would happen when I was 60yrs of age if I paid all my contributions. I have honoured my side of the deal. They shouldn't be allowed to move the goal posts at the eleventh hour without adequate notice.
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Like so many others I will be 60 this year. I was made redundant at 59 and have been unable to find another job. I was a successful Manager but I am obviously considered "past it" by prospective employers. One visit to the Jobcentre was enough for me! Being asked if I had suitable clothes for an interview by a lady who had forgotten to check the mirror before going to work, was the final straw. I am currently receiving £62.10 a week Carers Allowance to look after my disabled daughter, it is all I get ( my husband is a pensioner). I look after my 80 year old Mum too. As previously stated, give us the pensions we deserve and have contributed to and give us our self respect back!! The unemployed can have our jobs, pay tax and contribute to the economy instead of taking from it.
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I did know that the women's retirement age was going to rise in line with the men's, my original retirement age was to have been 64. What makes me absolutely furious is the additional 18 months added on to that by the present government to help pay for the budget deficit. This is a position they slavishly cling to seemingly being incapable of admitting that picking on a group of women born in the 1950s is WRONG! I don't want a reduced pension I want my full pension at my original retirement age.
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I agree that having to wait until 66 is unfair as women cannot be compared to men. Women were not treated equally in the workplace and some would still argue there still are not. Women did not have the same rights as men, you had to give up your job if you got pregnant. Women did not have the same opportunities to save for retirement and many will have much lower pensions then men. They are being penalised again financially by the government and treated unequally. Many women will not get the pension amount that is being quoted even when they get to 66!
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I was 60 in January. Made redundant at 58. Have paid into pension for 40 years. I am now living on my private pension when I had hoped that this would give me a better quality of life later on. I have never had any notification about pension changes. Had 3 joint replacement ops. And suffer with arthritis. Who is going to employ me?
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Born September 1955. There was NO WAY that I could have found the money to make up for the pension shortfall in the time I was given. My neighbour, less than 2 years older than me, is having a totally different retirement and that doesn't help my mood. I'm trying for part time work at £7.50 per hour but this means that elderly and young family members who need my support are going to suffer. No way out really.,
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I was born in 1956 and reach 60 this year & would have been able to claim my pension this year. I have worked since I was 15, never claimed any benefits except child benefit & at a time when there were no equal opportunities, men earned more than me doing the same job! There was no tax credits or childcare, in fact you were considered a bad mother if you went back to work! I have paid NAI for over 45 years, if I had done this with a private pension company I would be able to take legal action for a change in the contract that makes me work an additional 6 years to get the entitlement I was promised at 60. I am all for equality in retirement with men but those of my age group earned a great deal more than I did for the same job and so over 45 + years of working have earned 1000's more than I did. The government need to re look at this again & soon
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Any solution that gives us 1950's women the option to receive a pension at the original post 1995 pension reform age would be a bonus. I was originally due to receive my pension in May 2019 which is 6 months before my 65th birthday, but now have to wait until October 2020 when I will be 66. I like many other women had accepted the 1995 changes as it gave us plenty of notice, but the 2011 pension reform just didn't give any of us ladies any time to make alternative arrangements. So many of us have 40+ years of qualifying contributions so we have more than paid our dues, so surely we should be given some consideration. Many of us are not able to secure jobs or obtain benefits so how do the government expect us to live. All my retirement plans like many others have gone up in smoke and we have been left struggling on without any support. I signed the WASPI petition and fully support the campaign, but just wish I could do more. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.
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