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Altmann tells women there's no magic pot of money

Women's state pension age will not be reduced because it is too expensive, pension minister Ros Altmann tells campaigners. 

 
Altmann tells women there's no magic pot of money

Pension minister Ros Altmann has declared there is no ‘magic pot of money’ to help women whose state pension age has increased and said she ‘has never’ supported a call for women’s retirement age to be returned to 60.

Altmann (pictured) told the Work and Pensions Committee that the government would press ahead with the planned state pension age rises for women despite the growing call for change by the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign group.

The Waspi group of women has seen their state pension age rise from 60 to 65 as part of pension equalisation changes made in 1995 and again to 66 under changes to 2011 rules.

SNP MP Mhari Black asked whether the minister would make transitional arrangements for women who believed they would retire at 60 only to find out they would not receive their state pension until 66. The women are particularly aggrieved as they believe the government did not communicate these changes to them.

However, Altmann said there would be no changes to the age at which the women will retire and that in 2011 a transitional arrangement was already brought in that saw the maximum increase of the state pension age reduce from two years to 18 months.

‘I have been looking at whether we can do anything, we haven’t found a way,’ she said. ‘I feel for these women and I would love to say I have a magic pot of money. But this is taxpayers’ money, this is the decision for government to make. This is about equality and equalisation.’

Altmann added that it was ‘not sustainable’ for women to retire at 60 meaning they would spend 41% of their working life in retirement, compared to 32% for men.

She also argued that transitional arrangements had also been put in place back in 2011, when Altmann campaigned on behalf of Waspi to win a £1.1 billion concession.

‘This was all taken into account in 2011,’ said Altmann. ‘This legislation has been in place since 2011. It was passed. I made representations to the government at the time. Consideration was given to transitional arrangements…it was looked into if the best way to mitigate the impact was to use pension credits…or to change the maximum increase…and the decision was taken to reduce the maximum increase from two years to 18 months at a cost of £1.1 billion and that was considered to be preferable.

‘It was voted on by parliament and thoroughly debated. We live in a democracy.’

Altmann has received criticism from the Waspi campaign, with which she was aligned before she became pension minister last year, who feel she is not affecting the change from within that they believe she should.

However, Altmann used the committee meeting to make clear her position on the Waspi proposal to return women’s state pension age to 60.

‘I would like to say something,’ she said. ‘I was reading over evidence given to the committee and I am astonished. What it is calling for and which I never supported, is the undoing of the 1995 pension act.

‘It would cost £30 billion to undo the 1995 act.’

Quoting from the evidence Altmann said: ‘’What we are asking, and we think it is a fair ask, is state pension from age 60’: I can’t support that.

‘I understand why they are asking but that is never something that has been on the table.’

62 comments so far. Why not have your say?

ziggy

Jan 19, 2016 at 09:38

Roz Altman obvioulsy has not listened to the aims of WAPSI at all as they have stressed over and over again that they and their supporters do not have a problem with the equalisation of pension ages to 65 for everyone. Their issue is the speed of implementation of the changes needed to bring about that equalisation and the lack of notice from the government about those changes. As to their being no "magic pot of money" what about the NI contributions made by all those women who were told when they started working they were contributing to their state pension. The real reason there is no pot of money is because successive governments, Labour and Conservative have continually raided the NI pot to pay for other initiatives and projects. In addition there are the unquantified contribution women in their 50s have made to providing care for parents and grandparents which is unquantifiable in monetary terms but is conveniently overlooked by successive governments. One of the many easons for the strain on the social budget is the fact that less women are now prepared to give up their careers and/or want to ensure they can provide for their own retirement having seen what has happened to their own mothers

As to Ms Altman's claim that no one is having to wait more than 18 months to receive their state pension, I was 60 on 2 October 2014 and will not receive my state pension until I am 65 years and 11 months old. Where is the 18 month window there? In addition I never received any notification from the DWP about the increase in my state pension age. In each instance of learning of the increase (the first saying I would get my pension when I was 62 and 9 months old and the second saying I would be 65 and 11 months old) was when I asked for a pension forecast to ensure I had sufficient NI contributions to cover a full pension.

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Keith Cobby

Jan 19, 2016 at 09:49

Did the DWP write to women or did they expect the information to be passed around by 'word of mouth'?

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Pauline Elliott via mobile

Jan 19, 2016 at 11:34

I love the way they distort the percentage figures. According to the DWP adult working years ar from 26-66 meaning we spend 30% of our adult life in retirement. What a nonsense, I like 1000s of women, became a tax and NI payer at the age of 15 nit 26. The assumption of living to 86 is also a figure plucked from the sky by the number crunches. Clearly not based on regional variations.

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Mick Hudson

Jan 19, 2016 at 12:25

Ziggy - how can WASPI claim with a straight face that they are not opposed to equalisation, when their campaign aim is to restore all 1950s women to the position they would have been in had they still had a state pension age of 60?

The problem for WASPI is not that people misunderstand their aims. It is that people understand too well what the aims are, and consider a statement that they support equalisation to be completely meaningless when they are calling for the financial equivalent of overturning both the 1995 and 2011 changes (for 1950s women at least - presumably all those born 1960 onwards should take their SPA of 66+ on the chin because they at least had time to "prepare").

The equalisation of pension ages was first announced publicly in the 1993 budget, and will be completed by 2020, a grand total of 27 years later. The speed of implementation is obviously not an issue in relation to the 1995 changes at least.

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Ruth

Jan 19, 2016 at 13:14

No magic pot of money? So where has the money gone that these women paid in for all their working lives? Where has the money of the widowed womens late husband's gone, who died before reaching retirement age ? We accept that the state pension age of men and woman has to equalise but the women affected had no equality of wages when they started work and no chance to save for a private pension What is so very unfair is the 2011 accelerated age rise at too short notice,forcing women with age related complaints to work until they drop, especially widows and single women with no other financial support. The women born 1953/1954 are bearing the brunt because of the badly worked out, unjust, unfair, discriminating accelerated age rise timetable. Strange there is plenty of money for the things the government want to do but not for the women (and men affected by the accelerated age rise too) who have worked hard and paid in and now being robbed of money and a bit of freedom from work too.

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Keith Cobby

Jan 19, 2016 at 13:50

Ruth, I completely agree with you. If it is a political priority the money can be found. Remove higher rate tax relief and cancel Trident.

The fair way to move forward is to give the same state pension to all based only on length of residency.

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Hornet's Nest

Jan 19, 2016 at 14:02

Whilst I agree that some women born in the 50s have been let down when it comes to Comms the WASPI action group really need to develop achievable objectives that provide transitional support that focus on those women suffering financial hardship.

Their current aims are (quote) to: “Put all women born in the 1950's (on or after 6 April 1951) affected by the changes to the State Pension Age in exactly the same financial position they would have been in if they had been born on or before 5 April 1950”.

Basically this would mean EVERY 50s born woman would pick up a State Pension at 60, aside from the cost (Est @ £112.5Bn(ish) over 10Yrs) this would simply delay implementation of equalisation and impact unfairly on other sections of society.

I agree that some transitional support is needed and as a matter of urgency for a percentage of 50s born women. A system providing all of them with a guaranteed Min Income over a transitional period would have my support

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yvonne jebson

Jan 19, 2016 at 15:52

The sad part of all of this is that Waspi have continued to campaign for the impossible despite advice and suggestions from various sources and have more or less scuppered any chance of redress for the ones hardest hit. Women 1950-1952 are already receiving their State pension, most of those born 1953 will receive theirs this year or early next, those born 1956 onwards have had 20 years notice (how much do you need ?) , the gaping hole is the ones born late 1953 and most of 1954 they are the ones hardest hit and the ones that will be left to bear the brunt of this ill thought out campaign. The concentration should always have been on the 2011 change that gave very little notice to those affected and was rushed through without MPs being fully aware of the impact. I fear its too late now for any help for this group of women who have been mislead into thinking that this campaign was ever about them when in fact it was always about the 1995 change and allowing all 1950s women to retire at 60 with some tidy lump sums to boot.

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Jane via mobile

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:08

I am one of the many women born 1953 who are severely penalised. When I started work, I didn't have the luxury of equal pay with men. Male colleagues doing the same job were paid a considerable amount more than me - and could afford to put more into their pensions. I agree with equality with men but surely the starting point should be when equal pay for women was implemented?

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Jon

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:13

There are thousands of changes to tax and benefits not to mention interest rates and inflation throughout one's working life. If a lifetime's notice had to be given before any of these were allowed to become fact then where would we be? 20 year's notice is far more than most people get on changes which can be greater than this.

For those griping about "where has our money gone", men have been subsidising womens' pensions for far too long whilst women had earlier retirement and also live longer. But of course it will be our children who will be paying for our pensions. In any event the "contributions" paid are small compared with the future benefits.

There had to be a change, and women should be pleased that it took far too long for any government to face up to it.

Yes - it is human nature to protest when a change leaves you worse off, and any argument and emotion will be thrown up, But we live in a democracy, and no pressure group however loud should expect to have its way except by a balanced and logical discussion taking into account the big picture.

Now I will go and hide before being beaten by the handbags :-)

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David 111

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:25

Yvonne - I agree with you completely.

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Ruth

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:37

Jon the women born 1953/1954 have good reason to 'gripe' Have you actually seen the 2011 timetable, it rises up to an extra 18 months for the worst affected women. A difference of a few months in age can mean a difference of years extra to work Our group Protest Against the Accelerated S\ate Pension Age Rise has campaigned for 5+ years to reverse it for the men affected by having to work an extra year and the women up to 18 months. It kicks in this April, it's not too late for the government to stop it and return to the fair rolling scale timetable set in 1995. Yvonne is right, waspi are asking too much, which means we could end up with nothing! Whether women knew it or not, the 1995 law was passed over 20 years ago now! She is also right that younger women have had more notice and more time to start saving to knock a bit off their working life. A woman born in 1954 had her state pension age put up to 64 by the first age rise , it's the extra 18 months on top of that which was added on in obscene haste, which is the straw that broke the camel's back

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Ruth

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:39

DOB Pension was Pension is Weeks extra Lose out

6/4/53 – 5/5/53 6/5/16 6/7/16 8 £817.20

6/5/53 – 5/6/53 6/7/16 6/11/16 17 £1736.55

6/6/53 – 5/7/53 6/9/16 6/3/17 25 £2553.75

6/7/53 – 5/8/53 6/11/16 6/7/17 34 £3473.10

6/8/53 – 5/9/53 6/1/17 6/11/17 43 £4392.45

6/9/53 – 5/10/53 6/3/17 6/3/18 52 £5311.80

6/10/53 – 5/11/53 6/5/17 6/7/18 60 £6129.00

6/11/53 – 5/12/53 6/7/17 6/11/18 69 £7048.35

6/12/53 – 5/1/54 6/9/17 6/3/19 78 £7967.70

6/1/54 – 5/2/54 6/11/17 6/5/19 78 £7967.70

6/2/54 – 5/3/54 6/1/18 6/7/19 78 £7967.70

6/3/54 – 5/4/54 6/3/18 6/9/19 78 £7967.70

6/4/54 – 5/5/54 6/5/18 6/11/19 78 £7967.70

6/5/54 – 5/6/54 6/7/18 6/1/20 78 £7967.70

6/6/54 – 5/7/54 6/9/18 6/3/20 78 £7967.70

6/7/54 – 5/8/54 6/11/18 6/5/20 78 £7967.70

6/8/54 – 5/9/54 6/1/19 6/7/20 78 £7967.70

6/9/54 – 5/10/54 6/3/19 6/9/20 78 £7967.70

6/10/54 – 5/11/54 6/5/19 6/10/20 74 £7559.10

6/11/54 – 5/12/54 6/7/19 6/11/20 69 £7048.35

6/12/54 – 5/1/55 6/9/19 6/12/20 65 £6639.75

6/1/55 – 5/2/55 6/11/19 6/1/21 61 £6231.15

6/2/55 – 5/3/55 6/1/20 6/2/21 56 £5720.40

6/3/55 – 5/4/55 6/3/20 6/3/21 52 £5311.80

6/4/55 6/4/68 65th birthday 66th birthday £5311.80

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Hampshire cynic.

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:39

Jon has got it absolutely right I fear to say.

If those women who have had their heads in the sand for the last 20 years were to get their way, then I want the £155 + weekly pension instead of my current £130 which has been in payment for nearly eight years, oh, and I would like the 'underpayment' backdated as well, and given to me now plus interest please. Shall we call it a nice round £10,000 and I would be happy to pay tax on it to help out. Fat chance!

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Barbara Bates

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:39

To start with this article is inaccurate it says "She also argued that transitional arrangements had also been put in place back in 2011, when Altmann campaigned on behalf of Waspi to win a £1.1 billion concession." in fact WASPI didn't exist until 2015, Ros Altmann campaigned on behalf of women who had contacted AGE UK when they found out about the 2011 SPA rise. Those of us who knew about the proposed rise in 2010 which became reality in 2011 campaigned long and hard at the time and it was we, along with Rachel Reeves MP and Unions Together who won the 18 months concession. Women born in the 50's were never going to retire at 60, the 1995 act made sure of that. It was the 2011 raise that has hit us so badly, take my case, I have worked from the age of 15, expected to retire at 60, accepted the 1995 raise which took my SPA to 64 but was then hit again by the 2011 rise, at first 2 years then 18 months after the "concession". In my opinion it's the 2011 rise that is causing us so much hardship physically and financially, and that is what any campaign should have been about to overturn. Ask for too much, get nothing. I don't want money from a pot I want to retire at 64, having done my bit toward equalisation of mens and womens ages and get the pension I have worked for all my adult life.

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J Thomas

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:43

Even after pension equalisation women will still be better off than men, they live for an average of three years longer in which they can claim the state pension.

True equalisation would be retirement at 67 for men and 70 for women. Scandalous that this generation of women expect children to be indebted for benefits the workers of the future will never receive.

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Jeff Liddiard

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:49

No magic pot of money? There is NO pot of money of any sort for ANY of the state pensions currently being paid out, we all know that, the money is paid from the current tax and N.I. take. So for her to say there's no magic pot of money is ludicrous. That is NOT valid reason for not paying.

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Hampshire cynic.

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:54

J Thomas-

You should perhaps wash your mouth out for suggesting the three extra years of work for the fair sex! It is not as though most have somewhat softer jobs in the main is it, ie not many female coal miners, steel workers, scaffolders or SAS troopers!

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Michael Stevens

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:57

Well done Altmann. It is very fair to raise the age to 66 by 2020 for all. The ladies do not read the press and have themselves to blame. Extra 1to 2 years to plan for retirement.

The state pension was introduced with an age of 70 for retirement.

The age should be increased to 70 again by 2040.

The N.I. requirements should be increase to 40 by 2022. It was 44 until 2007

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Ruth

Jan 19, 2016 at 16:58

Many men are now gloating 'You women wanted equality' well maybe women have it now but those born in the early 1950s to 1954 didn't have it, men have had the wages and the chance to save for a private pension all along, those women have not! Maybe the men should have gone out to work for a low wage, had the babies and brought them up, done the housework and shopping, cared for older relatives, which is what the early 1950s women did., They were born too early to enjoy equality. Young women now know they have to save if they don't want to work until they drop, many don't start work until in their 20s, not at 15/16 years old as it used to be. Yes bring in equalisation but not at the expense of the women being hit hard just because they were born after a certain date. 1950 born women retired at 60, 1954 born women have to work to 66, 4 years difference in age, 6 extra years to work, how is that fair?

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Jon

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:03

Ruth - 18 months' notice for the last change is a long time. When Brown changed the pension fund tax rules with double taxation there was no notice, and the extra tax applied to funds already built up and locked in. For those who had prudently saved into a private pension and built up a realistic fund this has meant many thousands of pound loss year after year above what the rules were when the contributions were made. So the extra tax I am now paying is probably funding state pensions !! I had planned to retire 7 years ago, but my fund would not have given me enough pension then. So I had to keep on working.

But, unlike Brown's tax which is legalised theft, these changes to womens' pensions have been long overdue in the name of equality, and bringing benefits into line such that our children will have more chance of being able to live. It may be tough, but it has been overdue.

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Michael Greenland

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:11

Oh whinging women. It was all very clear in 1995 and again in 2011. Stop moaning. My wife is affected but we clearly knew at the time. Too many of you just put your head in the sand and ignored the news....no doubt the same people who opted for lower married womens NI contributions in the 60's & 70's and then moaned when you realised you wouldn't get a full pension....because you chose not to pay for it.

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Chris Powell

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:20

NI is a tax. These people who are not happy with the contributions they have made into NI not being dished out properly should be careful of what they wish for. If it did then the majority of the money would go to the males (when you include employers contributions) and the very rich the women would not get much at all. Then there would be a massive shortage of funds for other public services. The state pension is a benefit and can and should be changed depending on how affordable it is - it is not a right to have a certain amount of money at a certain age. If you rely on a benefit then you have only yourself to blame. Women need to realise that they are not 'little women' and cannot rely on the 'big men' anymore. Ruth to be honest you should be happy to have had any warning at all.

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Ruth

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:35

Chris I have received my state pension from when I was 60, so it doesn't affect me, but it does affect my widowed sister and many friends and because I hate injustice of any kind I fight for those who are affected by it. The group I co-founded fights for the men being robbed by the accelerated age rise as well as the women. You see I'm not a smug 'I'm alright jack' I actually care about others!

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Chris Powell

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:41

This is not an 'injustice' it is life. The state age should have been equal from the beginning, women should have gone down the mines, worked on a building site, worked on the farms and gone to war 50 years ago. Men have been hard done by at last we are getting equality.

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Michael Greenland

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:42

Ruth, Get real, what you are fighting for is plainly unaffordable. That is what all this is about.

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J Thomas

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:43

I do have some sympathy for honest women affected by this who have been good wives and mothers.

However in my professional life I have seen thousands of women from this age group who have taken almost everything from good men in divorce settlements with the help of Family Court Laws. These women basically retired with the family home, half of the husbands pension, tax credits, child maintenance, etc. Then they would qualify for a state pension at age 60. Many hardly worked a day in their lives yet are asset millionaires.

Sorry, but the party is drawing to an end.

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Chris Powell

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:47

I actually think the biggest injustice is that women were ever allowed to retire at age 60 instead of 65. What on earth were we thinking about.

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Ruth

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:51

'Get our violins out for men' time now lol Chris. Michael unaffordable? How come the government can afford what they want to do? There is plenty of money, it's just being used for the wrong things It's surely not unreal to expect the government to keep their pre election pledge that there would be no further state pension age rise until at least 2016 for men and 2020 for women. What is unreal is expecting a group of women born in certain years through no fault of their own, to bear the brunt of 2 age rises, the second at very short notice. I know what it's all about, it's all about injustice, unfairness and discrimination!

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Michael Greenland

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:53

Ruth, If you think there is plenty of money then you need to read the Ladybird book of economics.

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Chris Powell

Jan 19, 2016 at 17:58

No Ruth you should not been allowed to retire at 60 it should have been 65 that I repeat is the injustice.

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Alan via mobile

Jan 19, 2016 at 18:02

you moaning bunch .. The young ones today will be lucky to get a pension. What you have paid in tax and NI paid for the previous generation .. There was no pot of money to pay for the nhs and pension .. Never has been ... You oldies have got it good on this front

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Barbara Bates

Jan 19, 2016 at 18:17

"I do have some sympathy for honest women affected by this who have been good wives and mothers." OMG what age is this person living in? I have been a "good" wife and now I'm a "good" widow, my husband died before he was old enough to claim state pension so there went all his contributions into the black hole, I have worked all my life, from 15 years old, except for the time I took off to care for him at the end of his life, I haven't taken anybody to the cleaners, robbed anybody, divorced anybody or had any benefits all my life and yet I have to work 6 extra years, 4½ of which I had accepted but the extra 18 months is going too far, I have always had hard menial heavy jobs, long before any health & safety or manual lifting training was required and I still have a demanding job now at 61½ years, I am in physical pain through serving others all my life. I never earned enough to save more than the basic for rainy day stuff and never had the opportunity to join a pension scheme, nor equal wages with men. How many men after a lifetime of hard graft find themselves in this position? On the one hand you say "good wives and mothers" on the other hand we're supposed to be on an equal footing HAH! Nothing in my life has ever been equal. However I do agree that men and women should receive their SP at the same age, what I do not agree with is the speeding up of the reasonable table which became law in 95 so that the same women, me included were hit twice, and women born in 54 hit hardest, a fact that not even the government disagrees with. It's well to be seen that the age of chivalry is dead and buried when men gloat and bully women in their sixties, even suggest we should have "gone down the mines and on building sites" and gone to war, while enjoying the fact that we are suffering physically and emotionally because we are the ones paying the price of this much vaunted "equality", there are women on their own who can't find work because of their age or illnesses and can't afford to buy food or heat their homes, do you get pleasure from that? You should be ashamed of yourselves, would you treat your wives and mothers in such an unpleasant way?

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mari cox

Jan 19, 2016 at 18:31

I am disgusted with Roz and the government .. we have had our money stolen ... that money has been spent on other things .. now they claim there is no money to pay for pensions .... we're all living longer ... what a load of crap .... truth is the pension money is gone and they're using longevity as an excuse for their incompetence .... and as for the men who complain about women being able to retire at 60 ... it has been that age since the 1940's .....and in all that time - 70 years plus....no men - not one single yellow bellied man - ever had the balls to do anything about it .... no guys none of you had the guts to fight to get the male retirement age down to 60 to equal women .... you just kept your heads bowed in silence and accepted your lot - shame on you

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mari cox

Jan 19, 2016 at 18:35

I am disgusted with Roz and the government .. we have had our money stolen ... that money has been spent on other things .. now they claim there is no money to pay for pensions .... we're all living longer ... what a load of crap .... truth is the pension money is gone and they're using longevity as an excuse for their incompetence .... and as for the men who complain about women being able to retire at 60 ... it has been that age since the 1940's .....and in all that time - 70 years plus....no men - not one single yellow bellied man - ever had the balls to do anything about it .... no guys none of you had the guts to fight to get the male retirement age down to 60 to equal women .... you just kept your heads bowed in silence and accepted your lot - shame on you

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Dennis .

Jan 19, 2016 at 18:48

I assume that you people must think that ranting here will make a difference. No one owes you anything, we all start with nothing and we makes the best we can of life.

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dab

Jan 19, 2016 at 18:55

These changes affect pension rights already accrued. This is in breach of the principles applied to company pension schemes. My company scheme has undergone many changes, but existing entitlements already accrued were retained and only those accrued going forward were affected. If these principles were to be applied to the state scheme it would allow women (and men) to take some of their pension at their original retirement age, with the rest following at the later retirement age. This would be entirely fair and would allow many to phase-in retirement from their original retirement age.

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Jon

Jan 19, 2016 at 18:58

Barabara - there is no such thing as fairness, equality and justice in life as all of these values are subjective. We all have hard-done-by stories, some more than others. No one is "bullying" you and chivalry cannot be allowed to be used as a reason to ignore facts.

The bottom line is that the UK is going down the tubes, and overall wages and pensions are too high. Until we can pay our way, eliminated the trade deficit and im[prove and improve our efficiency to equal that of prosperous nations then we will all slowly become poorer and "fighting" over a smaller cake.

Therefore, like it or not, benefits are high on the to-cut list. After the NHS benefits are the largest spend. No one likes their benefit being cut, but this area is an obvious target

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dab

Jan 19, 2016 at 19:29

Hi Jon - This conversation is straying rather, but in relation to what you call "benefits" I think we should include the money paid to the royal family, subsidies paid merely for owning farm land or grouse moor, tax breaks for the super-rich and large companies etc. This is still a wealthy country and our state pensions are some of the lowest in Europe.

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ali smith

Jan 19, 2016 at 19:43

Dab, you speak sense, at 62 and doing a heavy job, would take great pleasure in cutting my hours and phasing in retirement which is currently at 2019.I did not sadly, take my either of my ex husband to the cleaners, so as a single woman have to keep myself and have always and their children..No violins required, my life, my bad (taste) choices. But

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Jim Waddington

Jan 19, 2016 at 21:16

Ziggy & Ruth make the relevant points now at stake here.

I have come increasingly to dislike Roz Altmann. Recognising that she has changed sides & is purely cannon fodder for the Conservative Party Right Wing in 'testing the temperature of opposition' to the 'non-transition' arrangements she could be at least as candid over the non-existence of those arrangements as she is about her desire for not paying for them. Instead of which she continually misleads by saying those affected have been kept informed (myth) and promoting the second myth of the '18 month transition'. That applies to a small segment of those affected. The fact that this was in the dying days of the last Coalition Government - just a desperate political 'fix' simply introduces further discrimination with several hundred thousand women deprived of a full 6 years of the pension they had for up to the previous 35 years paid for.

I think WASPI are to be congratulated in pursuing this - Altmann is sounding increasingly panicky + since when was she a trainee Treasury Minister? Keep going WASPI - I think more than just Frank Field see the injustice that Altmann's bone headed stubbornness has produced.

Let us have a sensible transition scheme that is based on the NI contributions paid in good faith by working women over many years.

The negative impact of this can be amortised by a Treasury well familiar with supervising the financial affairs of other pension schemes .... one that is similar in size at half a million members of pensionable age = the University Lecturers Pension Scheme which has been running at a substantial deficit for many years... there has been no attempt by government to try to balance those books by depriving paid up members of the benefit they subscribed to. The Teachers Pension Scheme has been re-structured (also running at a loss) but paid for benefits have been frozen - not stolen from the scheme. ...

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Annie Leonard

Jan 19, 2016 at 22:07

As a 1954 woman I am directly affected by the increase. Whilst I support the notion that people suffering hardship should receive extra transitional help, I cannot support the WASPI campaign.

Its demand to "put all women born in the 1950's (on or after 6 April 1951) affected by the changes to the State Pension Age in exactly the same financial position they would have been in if they had been born on or before 5 April 1950” is entirely counter-productive as not all 1950s women have been put into hardship as a result of the change in pension age.The blight of those in actual hardship is overlooked by the unrealistic demands made, allegedly on behalf of all 1950s women, by some very well-off ladies at the helm of the WASPI campaign.

I started work at 18, paid into a company pension from day one, and made additional voluntary contributions to beef up my pension. I have been fiercely financially independent all my life and hope I can continue to do so. I do not need, or want, the money WASPI thinks the State should give me. WASPI do absolutely not represent me, and I know a number of other women who feel just the same.

Moreover, some of the main WASPI activists are disingenuous when they claim they didn't know about the increase. How would a Director of HR with experience in both, the Public Sector and in a number of large UK companies since the early 1990s not have known about the increase in pension age? How would she explain that she did not commence her campaign shortly after 1995, or at least shortly after 2011? Has she failed all the people she was responsible for in her HR Director roles by not making sure they were informed? How would she explain that the company and public sector pensions she must have accrued will not keep her out of hardship and she therefore needs the state pension backdated to age 60 for herself? Not to mention the income she probablys draw from being "Partner / Proprietor of an Equestrian Centre with holiday and training facilities". Just google Susan Beevers.

I would have respect for WASPI, and support them, if they were actually campaigning for those in hardship. But they are not, and they are mis-representing me and many other affected women.

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mari cox

Jan 19, 2016 at 22:48

I am disgusted with Roz and the government .. we have had our money stolen ... that money has been spent on other things .. now they claim there is no money to pay for pensions .... we're all living longer ... what a load of crap .... truth is the pension money is gone and they're using longevity as an excuse for their incompetence .... and as for the men who complain about women being able to retire at 60 ... it has been that age since the 1940's .....and in all that time - 70 years plus....no men - not one single yellow bellied man - ever had the balls to do anything about it .... no guys none of you had the guts to fight to get the male retirement age down to 60 to equal women .... you just kept your heads bowed in silence and accepted your lot - shame on you

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snoekie

Jan 20, 2016 at 02:46

Barbara, who said life is/was fair.

The vast bulk of divorced men have been taken to the cleaners whilst their exes languish in idle wealth.

My ex did me a favour. I started virtually clean, but a lot poorer. after the divorce, and after a couple of years she had squandered the lot and has been bankrupted, more than once.

Equality has been coming on for many years. What part of equality did your sex not understand? They got better remuneration and other rights, so why should they keep the same retirement age? The have had massive benefits for many a decade, and to continue that was and remains unfair. Do the words common sense mean anything? If they do, you and they should have realised that it meant burdens as well as benefits. There can be no rights without obligations (burdens). As has been pointed out G. Brown gave no notice of his proposed pension thefts (which Osborne is continuing, and adding to).

Having children and looking after parents etc was a choice made. They didn't think about the effect of loss of pension contributions and the subsequent effects.

Listening to your fellow gender travellers, you are far brighter than us poor slobs, aided by the law, so why didn't it occur to them when they made their choices? Yeah I know, different way of thinking. Equality, but the inequality continues, on both sides.

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Hugh M

Jan 20, 2016 at 03:48

Women generally live longer than men, so draw their pensions for more years. They also begin drawing their pension at a younger age than men. Many women pay no NIC but qualify on their husbands' NIC. I don't subscribe to the bull about looking after children and home. Children go to school when young and go out to work when they leave school. Do they really want equality? No, they want to continue being favoured.

What is unfair is the freezing of pensions for some expats who contributed fully and have been driven out of their country by Blair and Brown's excesses.

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snoekie

Jan 20, 2016 at 06:02

The "looking after the home" guff is an attempted justification. The ladies do it for themselves, and they blame others because they, the she, want things a certain way, etc.

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andy

Jan 20, 2016 at 07:44

I continue to see the same behaviour as always.

Definition of a fair tax - one that someone else pays.

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Ruth

Jan 20, 2016 at 09:07

So Chris Powell thinks I shouldn't have been allowed to retire at 60. Really? Then in that case men shouldn't have been allowed to control womens lives since time began until fairly recently. Equality hasn't been around very long, it certainly didn't exist for us born in the 1940s nor for the women born in the early to mid 1950s, no equality of pay with men, no chance to save for a private pension. All we are saying is that bearing the brunt of the equalisation in state pension age has been worked out unfairly, unjustly and is discriminating. My sister 7 years younger than me can't retire until 12 years later than me. The 1995 timetable was fairly worked out, the accelerated timetable was not! But it's pointless arguing with men who don't care about that and as it happens it doesn't matter what they think, in the end its down to whether the government care about losing the votes of the women affected, their families and their friends, if they don't do something about the plight of the women affected then be it on their own heads in 2020

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Linda Murray

Jan 20, 2016 at 09:30

The way the pension issue has been handled by this so called Government is a disgrace. They show a complete disregard for everyone. The fact is that women born in the 50s have been treated badly. As previously stated there was no equal pay or equal pension rights. I was not allowed to join the pension scheme at the first place I worked and I worked there for 25 years. This was only open to management who were mostly men. Since then I have never had a job that provided a pension or been able to afford one of my own. Incidentally I am divorced and did not take everything from my ex husband. He is better off than me. Some of the comments on here are obviously from bitter men who have lost out and seem to think that all women are to blame. The point is that the way theses changes have been introduced is unfair. You don't correct one inequality by creating another. Ros Altmann knows that the changes are unfair as she campaigned against them herself when she was at Age Uk. Now of course she abandoned her principles for a title and gilt edged pension of her own. In the future months it will become clear just what a shambles this Governments pension plans are. The new flat rate will not provide the benefits promised to many people mostly men. The further increases is SPA will also affect men. I will campaign on behalf of all affected regardless of gender as I firmly believe that working longer is not possible for many in manual occupations. Also there is a vast regional difference in life expectancy. The Government know this and frankly just doesn't care.

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Chris Powell

Jan 20, 2016 at 11:42

Ruth the money saved by having equal pension ages from the beginning could have been spent on the NHS and saved lives and gone to schools for education. Most 60 year old women have never needed to retire then they could have easily carried on working. It was Labour I think you started this injustice. If it had been 65 for both at the start this irrelevant topic would not exist. This was the injustice but we can't go back all those years and compensate the men can we?

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Chris Powell

Jan 20, 2016 at 11:56

The other thing that really winds me up is that women would apparently have changed their plans. By definition if you had a pension plan then you would research at least once a year when your state pension would start. You can't have had a plan if you thought you were going to retire at 60 unless you kept checking your retirement age. This is all a cop out that these women would have planned differently because those who have a plan would have known when they will retire. It is so logical.

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Annie Leonard

Jan 20, 2016 at 16:15

As a 1954 woman, I am directly affected by the increase. Whilst I support the notion that people suffering hardship should receive extra transitional help, I cannot support the WASPI campaign.

Its demand to "put all women born in the 1950's (on or after 6 April 1951) affected by the changes to the State Pension Age in exactly the same financial position they would have been in if they had been born on or before 5 April 1950” is entirely counter-productive as not all 1950s women have been put into hardship as a result of the change in pension age.The blight of those in actual hardship is overlooked by the unrealistic demands made, allegedly on behalf of all 1950s women, by some very well-off ladies at the helm of the WASPI campaign.

I started work at 18, paid into a company pension from day one, and made additional voluntary contributions to beef up my pension. I have been fiercely financially independent all my life and hope I can continue to do so. I do not need, or want, the money WASPI thinks the State should give me. WASPI do absolutely not represent me, and I know a number of other women who feel just the same.

Moreover, some of the main WASPI activists are disingenuous when they claim they didn't know about the increase. How would a Director of HR with experience in both, the Public Sector and in a number of large UK companies since the early 1990s not have known about the increase in pension age? How would she explain that she did not commence her campaign shortly after 1995, or at least shortly after 2011? Has she failed all the people she was responsible for in her HR Director roles by not making sure they were informed? How would she explain that the company and public sector pensions she must have accrued will not keep her out of hardship and she therefore needs the state pension backdated to age 60 for herself? Not to mention the income she probablys draw from being "Partner / Proprietor of an Equestrian Centre with holiday and training facilities". Just google Susan Beevers.

I would have respect for WASPI, and support them, if they were actually campaigning for those in hardship. But they are not, and they are mis-representing me and many other affected women.

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snoekie

Jan 21, 2016 at 03:42

Ruth, get real. The kaw takes time to catch up with reality, and still it continues. It refses to recognise your primary asset, not your primary weapon, your mouth. Men's strength is their strength that they may not use, but you are free to let fly with impunity, as well as other acts.

I have seen a woman smashing up a car belonging to her boyfriend/husband. I doubt she was prosecuted and if she was, no doubt given a mild telling off, but not prison.

Your sex has many advantages, and a few disadvantages. Live with it or take totally equal treatment, children notwithstanding. Perhaps a good lesson for them.

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Ruth

Jan 21, 2016 at 07:06

The cry is 'There is no money' so can anyone please tell me where that money has gone? Take my sister's case, widowed, her late husband died at 57, where did his contributiions go? Not to her, widows pension had been stopped. Where has the money gone she has paid in all her adult life on the understanding she would receive her state pension at 60?She accepted the 1995 age rise to 64 but then in 2011 the 18 months on top was a huge blow. She has osteo arthritis, suffers great pain, was prepared to struggle on to 64 but can you imagine how she feels now at almost 62 and still no end in sight, in fact the goal;posts are further away. It's not about money, it's about living feeling human beings who are being robbed of money and a bit of freedom. Sickness benefit is not an option, she has always worked, but if she loses her job what then? JSA is not enough to live on and she would be harrassed to find another non existent job, why should a woman who has worked for over 46 years so far and no end in sight, have to beg for benefits? I can't imagine why some men are being so nasty about all this, what is the world coming to when some people gloat over others hit by unfairness! Well I'm butting out of this topic because it's going nowhere, it's turned into a women bashing contest......how sad is that!

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dd

Jan 24, 2016 at 12:53

Keeping it simple: Why could this change have not been phased in gradually?

It does not require a mathematical genius! Some of those recently retired at age 60 would have had had to take a share. The load could have been spread more evenly with the same overall cost, and same overall goal of equalisation. Conclusion: incompetent implementation of the desired goal.

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Annie Leonard

Jan 24, 2016 at 13:20

The change is being phased in gradually.

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Hugh M

Jan 24, 2016 at 14:19

The question which comes to mind is: Why did women ever get their pension 5 years earlier than men. Equal rights works both ways even though some don't like it.

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Dennis .

Jan 24, 2016 at 14:47

My wife was born in April 1950 and suffered the injustice of losing only three weeks state pension. Her two sisters however, a year or two younger have been affected quite badly.

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dd

Jan 24, 2016 at 17:48

Yes, Hugh. Someone was buying votes? - Blame them for making promises they could not keep, not the women.

One of the reasons the women didn't see it coming is precisely because siblings, cousins, colleagues only a couple of years older were retiring at 60 in front of their eyes. A stupid assumption maybe, to imagine that state retirement age would be the same for them. (Forget for a moment the arguments about the newspapers and media.)

As Dennis says above: "a year or two younger". This is my point about lack of phasing in.

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geoffrey mulford

Jan 24, 2016 at 19:47

Ruth I think a lot has changed since you were young. And none of it for the better. Men used to go to work, work hard and throw their wage packet on the table on a Friday night. They gave up their wages willingly and got praised from their little princess at home looking after the kids. This brought out the best in men.

Now with Child tax credits, working tax credits and Child benefit. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bike.

Men are now saying you are not my little princess any more and you are going to have to suck it up like we have too.

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Hugh M

Jan 25, 2016 at 01:52

dd, the newspapers and media reports cannot be ignored and people cannot claim that they did not know. Although I agree that a phasing in would have been a better idea, the time to put this forward was when the announcement was first made, not after the event. Women have had this advantage over men for far too long in this "enlightened" age.

The reason I feel strongly about this is that for economic and health reasons, I no longer live in the UK in retirement. For 44 years (the maximum) I paid NIC, never receiving unemployment benefit or sick pay. I still pay income tax to HMRC. However, I do not receive annual pension increases, NHS treatment or any of the other benefits which people who have contributed less to the system are entitled to. That is the true injustice of the pension system and one which successive governments have refused to rectify.

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dd

Jan 25, 2016 at 23:39

Just to point out Hugh M that I also support frozen pensioners though I haven't commented about it (also: EL pensioners who took a 75% cut and those who will not receive GMP increases and those who are penalised for contracting out of SERPs etc.) Support for one aspect of one cause doesn't necessarily exclude any of these.

I might have a different opinion however about mammoth rewards or pay-offs for incompetence, at taxpayer expense. This is where the priorities are all wrong.

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