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State pension age battle: the women affected

A parliamentary debate over state pension age rises may not have provided a solution but did highlight the plight of those women affected.


by Michelle McGagh on Feb 03, 2016 at 09:57

State pension age battle: the women affected

After collecting over 135,000 signatures on their e-petition the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) brought their fight to Westminster for a three-hour debate on what could be done to help those hit by a double increase in their state pension age.

The petition, which needed over 100,000 signatures to be debated in the commons, called on the government to ‘make fair transitional arrangements for all women born on or after 6 April 1951 who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the state pension age’.

However, the original wording of the petition has been changed to reflect a softening of the Waspi stance. The original called for the women to be ‘put in exactly the same financial position they would have been’ in if they had been born on or before 5 April 1950.

Despite the Waspi’s new stance the government still won’t capitulate. Shailesh Vara, under-secretary of state for work and pensions, told MPs and members of Waspi at the commons debate that ‘no one can say that the changes have not been fully considered’.

‘The parliamentary process was fully followed,’ he said.

In its response to the e-petition, the government said: 'The government will not be revisiting the state pension age arrangements for women affected by the 1995 or 2011 acts.'

While the outcome is disappointing for the women, what the debate did do was shed light on the stories of the women hit by the double increase in the state pension age, from 60 to 65 in 1995 under equalisation reform and then from 65 to 66 as the state pension age was linked to longevity in 2011.

MPs used the opportunity to highlight the plight of their constituents and the hardships they face due to the delay in their state pension age.

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8 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Beverley STEVENSON via mobile

Feb 03, 2016 at 15:46

I am so upset I 60 in February and I will not get my pension till 66years I had no letters when it went up 2 times I had a letter in2005 with my forecast at that time I have worked all my life.

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Feb 03, 2016 at 18:13

The issue with this (as with many government changes to pensions) is the fact that they are effectively retrospective. You enter a "working life contract" with the government regarding pensions and, at relatively the last minute, they change it giving you no opportunity to do anything about it.

I realise that there is nothing that can be done about it but it reduces trust in government. Why would anybody save for a pension (oh, I forgot, you don't have a choice)

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Barrie Marsh

Feb 03, 2016 at 21:16

How is it that men have had to reach the age of 65 to draw their pension for years.

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Feb 04, 2016 at 08:25

You been working all that time too, I'm guessing, Bev, that you were really peed off at all the income tax rate reductions brought in during that period with even less notice. Can't be easy being a remote lighthouse keeper with no TV, radio, press, annual leave, getting kids to school by helicopter every morning.

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Feb 06, 2016 at 10:19

Wear and tare on people can have a dramatic effect .some people even at 55 are unable to work or lead a normal life .to be forced to work by the goverment regardless of whether or not you are capable needs to be investigated .what should be done is for the goverment to send a form to every person that now reaches the old pension age 60 for women .that has to be signed by their doctor stating that they are 100% fit to carry on working .most people even at 60 are unwell much longer that a younger person and very often have difficulty mentally coping due to some pain in their body.

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Feb 06, 2016 at 10:49

Even when all these changes are finally implemented and state pension age equalised for men and women, it will still be the fact that women live approx.

4 years longer than men, so the state will pay retired men less overall state pension in total (even though they will have paid the same national insurance contributions) than women.

Where is the equality for men in that ?

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Feb 06, 2016 at 11:40

A further exploration into the reasons why womens pension age should remain at 6o .what goverment fails to see is men are different than women .women from an early age have a role in life that men in goverment fail to see .a kind of male blindness .nearly all women start their married life by having children they have to cope with at times with severe mental stresses not only bringing up children but having to cope with changes to their physical being which can cause severe worry which leads to life changes that can at times lead to depression .womens bodies start to show the effects of this in changes to their bone structure caued by hormone changes .when the change of life occurs in women this can lead to disability from a much earlier age .forcing women to work after 60 is a breach of human rights .which is criminal and should be condemed by society .i would like to point out that providing a form signed by the doctor stating that a women is 100% fit to work should be implemeted right away before damage to women causing depression illness starts to take place

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Feb 06, 2016 at 12:05

The reason why goverment is forcing women to work after 60 is that women have a key role in goverment departments in banks and in the running of society in general .having to pay these women pensions i would say is the main reason why this is taking place .

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