View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a888609
MPs back early state pension for women
Work and pensions committee will recommend women hit by accelerated rises in the state pension age should be allowed to take their pension early.
MPs on the House of Commons work and pensions committee (WPC) will recommend women affected by accelerated rises in the state pension age should be allowed to take their state pension early.
The WPC issued an interim report in January, which attacked the government over the ‘lack of clarity’ provided over state pension changes.
A final report to be issued by the committee will recommend a 'fiscally neutral' solution involving women taking early receipt of their state pension.
Conservative MP for South Thanet Craig Mackinlay told Citywire the recommendation would be before the Budget next week.
‘What we are looking at on the committee – and it will be published shortly – is the potential for an actuarially-based, fiscally neutral, early taking of state pension,’ he said.
‘It’s cost neutral. There would be a cash flow disadvantage to the Treasury, but at fairly low interest rates the government could borrow at the moment and would be getting it back later.’
Conservative MP for Salisbury John Glen, who sits on the committee, backed the idea during the most recent commons debate on the 'Waspi' issue.
'What I propose is that the group of pensioners in that early-50s cohort are given the option to take their pension earlier,’ he said at the time.
‘Their pension would be reduced, but it would be a relatively small amount for two or three years, and it should be cost-neutral to the government even taking into account the cost of the administrative changes involved.
State pension ages have risen sharply for some women, who now claim they have been left either having to work longer or struggling to make ends meet as they wait several extra years to collect their state pension. Campaigners have claimed the government did not publicise successive changes well enough.
The 1995 Pensions Act first set out women’s SPA rises from 60 to 65 to equalise with men’s. The Pensions Act 2007 raised the pension age for women and men from 65 to 68 between 2024 and 2046. The 2011 Pensions Act accelerated this timetable. Women’s SPA would hitting 65 by 2018 and both men and women would have an SPA of 66 by 2020. It meant some women would have to wait an extra two years to receive their state pension, later capped at 18 months at a cost of £1 billion.
The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign called for 'fair transitional arrangements' for those affected. The topic has now been debated four times in parliament.
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