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Women's pension petition gains 88k signatures

Campaigners fighting increases in women's state retirement age say they are on track to get the 100,000 signatures for a parliamentary debate.

Women's pension petition gains 88k signatures

A petition criticising ‘unfair’ increases in the state pension age for women born in the 1950s is approaching the number of signatures it needs for a parliamentary debate after nearly doubling its numbers in less than two weeks.

As a result of the 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts, since 2010 women’s pension age has been rising from 60 to 65 to bring it in line with men, with both set to hit 66 by 2020. However, many women feel like they were given insufficient notice of the changes.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign is calling for all women born on or after 6 April 1951 affected by the changes to the state pension age 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, but is leaving it up to the government as to how this is achieved.

The group’s petition now has more than 88,000 signatures, up from 49,000 10 days ago, needs 100,000 signatures to be considered for debate in parliament.

‘It shows the strength of feeling against the unfair rise,’ said Waspi co-founder Anne Keen. ‘The lack of notification is what it’s about. [The parliamentary debate] would be a major turning point.’

Waspi were called to give evidence to the work and pension select committee last week, and a backbench debate led by Scottish National Party MP Mhairi Black has been scheduled for 7 January.

‘The fact that we were asked to give evidence certainly had a major impact,’ Keen said. ‘But we want a full parliamentary debate.’

26 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Peter B

Dec 22, 2015 at 16:57

link to petition needs a colon after the https

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John Murrell

Dec 22, 2015 at 17:00

Very selective use of the word 'inequality'. Changes introduced 20 years ago - How much notice do you need? They should get on with it and stop cherry picking their equality.

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Dec 22, 2015 at 17:00

Er, what happened to equality of sexes, when on average women outlive men? When it is the other way, they want more, but they don't want to be level with men when it doesn't favour them.

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Jane Tchan

Dec 22, 2015 at 17:01

It's not just about the notice period or lack of. We need to put this into a historical and social context of women who were born in the 1950s and what society expected of us at that time. It was an era when the norm was to get married in our early twenties, be a good housewife and raise a family of 2.4 children. Having career aspirations was frowned on.

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Chris Powell

Dec 22, 2015 at 17:11

Maybe I should claim from the EEC for reducing my pension because of gender equality- I did not have any warning to adjust my pension contributions! Women get real- just because you had a massive advantage in the past does not me you should be warned every minute when they are taken away. You shouldn't of had them in the first place.

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Mike via mobile

Dec 22, 2015 at 17:13

Oh stop whinging. Women, you have had 20 yrs notice but as usual you did not are quite happy that you are finally not getting a free lunch for 5 extra years.

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Mike via mobile

Dec 22, 2015 at 17:14

Oh stop whinging. Women, you have had 20 yrs notice but as usual you did not are quite happy that you are finally not getting a free lunch for 5 extra years.

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Dec 22, 2015 at 17:37

At 63 I'm one of the women affected and can quite see that these changes are fair, I also agree with the writers above that they are necessary for gender equality which MUST work both ways.

What has been difficult and unfair is the haphazard way that we were warned changes were coming, with several changes in dates and the variations in the way we are affected. My birthday was early in the schedule and I was less than two years later getting my pension than originally expected. My sister (now 61) will be five years later than anticipated.

Also the fringe benefits of being of pensionable age vary: in London those over 60 still get free transport including the underground. Although I lived in London for many years I now only get a bus pass and had to wait two years for that.

And although women did have a "massive advantage in the past" they also had the massive disadvantage of lower average wages - which is still true today. This obviously affects the level of private pension which they were able to achieve.

Men's contributions also often covered their (possibly non-working) wives' pensions in the past - not true of women with non-working husbands or single women.

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Michael Stevens

Dec 22, 2015 at 18:05

Very fair to increase the pension age to 65 and then to 66 by October 2020.

People must be realist and not just think of themselves.

The State Pension was started in 1907 with an age of 70. We must get back to that age of 70 by 2040

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Dec 22, 2015 at 18:06

The state retirement age should have been reviewed years ago. The only reason woman had theirs set at 60 was because a couple could only claim if both the man and woman had reached retirement age. Since the wife was normally younger than her husband, the womans retirement age was reduced by an arbitrary 5 years.

Setting men and woman the same is better - though could still be argued that men should be lower as their life expectancy is less.

Pension age is just the tip of the iceberg in relation to working out how on earth we can finance so many old people! Instead of people signing up to petitions so they can go back to getting money sooner, they need to be thinking about retiring even later and contributing more and explaining why they think they deserve to have the state pay for them to be out of work for the last 40 years of their life!

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Dec 22, 2015 at 19:01

I would like to suggest that a woman who has worked all the adult life and raised children at the same time will not have such big life expectancy any more.

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Stuart Brockbank

Dec 22, 2015 at 19:11

Email with link to click on to sign does not arrive !

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Jane Tchan

Dec 22, 2015 at 19:18

I believe many of you are missing the point. Women born in the 1950s had no real choice, so gender equality, having a career and being independent to earn her own money to contribute to her own pension were not available to her. Her main role was to stay at home, look after her husband and her family.. Most of the comments I have read are reasonable and fair if we were to apply them to the current social environment. However, we cannot turn back the clock even if we wanted to. In those days, as they say, "it was a man's world".

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vincent scott

Dec 22, 2015 at 19:25

a large part of the reason mens life expectancy is shorter is that because of the base culture? in this country, a large number of men drink and smoke themselves to death!!

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Dec 22, 2015 at 21:25

The Chief Medical Officer has declared a crisis regarding obesity in women. But pension ages must be increased. Has anyone actually see any data on age at death over the last number of years?

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Dec 22, 2015 at 21:40

Equalisation is absolutely the right thing to do but ...

whereas some have had state retirement age increased by a year, many of the women who feel peeved have had an extension of SIX years, not one. Even if they paid attention and knew that it was coming, the load has been placed squarely on the shoulders of a specific group of women. It is simple: It should have been phased in. As usual, it is the implementation which has been badly managed.

Also: Jane makes a good point about context and what was expected of a wife historically.

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Ian Phillips

Dec 22, 2015 at 21:57

Why can a man of 62 get pension credit on a meagre private pension (he's under 65 so not eligible for OAP) whilst a woman of 60 gets nothing??

This is not a man v. woman issue as many here think but it's another Governmental unjust muck-up.......

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Jane Tchan

Dec 22, 2015 at 22:08

Thanks dd. I think women believe it is reasonable to expect their pensionable age to be extended if they are living longer and able to work. However, as dd points out, it seems that this particular age group of women has been hit hardest with a rapid succession of increases more than any other group of people. As a result it makes it extremely difficult to plan for retirement both in terms of lifestyle and financial planning.

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J Thomas

Dec 22, 2015 at 22:37

That's the thing about equality I'm afraid, sometimes it means getting treated equally as badly as men, as with pensions.

Now we hear there is to be equality for women to fight as combat troops, that means having your legs blown away with IED's, burned alive by firebombs, shot deliberately in the neck by snipers so you don't die but spend the rest of your life completely paraplegic. When women have had full equality for a few years many will wish to turn back the clock.

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Dec 22, 2015 at 23:52

Equality went mad. Women have children and men support that,one way or another, so why do you want everything a man has, we are different. Men have balls. Woman multitask? Well, don't forget who supprts you when you take on too much. There is harmony in recognizing traditional differences between men and women. Please enjoy our differences, it's so much more attractive to appreciate a feminine woman than a masculine one, and pretty unattractive for a man that likes women to be living with another 'man' woman.

But, since you got equality, please live with the less desirable consequences.

For real women issue petitions, why not focus on real issues affecting women in our democratic society, such as why Muslims force women to have fgm in the UK and are allowed to get away with it, or why Islam do not denounce the use of a veil to respect our culture and not to hide behind a mask in sensitive times. By all means petition for Muslim women who radicalise their young to be removed from our society. Petition for what is important now.

I partly agree that women from the 50's may feel cheesed off, but where do you draw the line, if they were supported during that time of having children, and had a husband who provided, and pensions that would have been shared. And new laws of divorece paying out unjust vast fortunes that cripple men.

Time for groups to stop playing victim and taking advantage. The destruction of free speech caused by the political correct dictators has destroyed the backbone of this country.

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Chris Powell

Dec 23, 2015 at 09:34

There are many jobs for both sexes aged between 60 and 66 that need to be done and you get paid for. The pension age change was implemented correctly.

Dojr is correct there are far more important issues for both women and men for parliament to discuss. This position is not going to change and so we would only be wasting parliament time. If women are short of money they either carry on working or get a job exactly what the men do. If there male partner (if they have one) is already retired then he should become the househusband and not complain. The issue of raising children should be put in to context and is an extremely sexiest view discussed here. What about the men going down mines, working on farms. going to war doing jobs the little women was not allowed to do in the 50's. Some women (not my wife) need to get real.

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Dec 23, 2015 at 12:05

I'm a woman born in the 1950s and accept the reality of equality including equalised ages for pensions. Jane Tchan suggests that my generation stayed at home and played the traditional role; this is simply not the case. The vast majority of the women that I know did work, though some not until their children were at school due to the lack of affordable childcare.

I don't like some of the pension changes: the idea that everyone will get the same even if they have not fully contributed is particularly abhorrent to me. I worked when I could and contributed enough to get a full pension in my own right and am proud of that fact.

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Breda obb

Dec 23, 2015 at 21:30

I heard through the Freedom of Information Act that there was a surplus in excess of £134 Billion in the NI Fund in 2012, that amount is now reduced to approx. £24 Billion. Anyone know where the money has gone?

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Nigel Harris

Dec 27, 2015 at 14:00

Pensions are yet another example of wealth transfer from men and boys to women and girls.

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Michael Stevens

Dec 27, 2015 at 17:55

95% of women have not made any financial planning. They just wait and see what happens when they reach retirement age.

Bring the age down and they will have less time to plan!

They have know about this change for the last 20 years.

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Jane S

Jan 05, 2016 at 13:05

Of course there should be equality of state pension age between the sexes. The issue is the way in which the government is implementing it!

The vast majority of women born in the '50s were discouraged from having a career, so do not have sensible occupational pensions to fund their retirement. (Clearly a minority of women were encouraged to have careers and acquired some kind of occupational pension schemes, including female politicians and civil servants who have supported this iniquitous implementation.) It is one thing to have ones state retirement age increased once, in my case by 3 years from 60 to 63 and learn this in my early 50s when theoretically there was still time to do something about it. However, to change the age of state retirement for a 2nd time, in my case by another 2.5 years, for this group of women, when they so close to retirement age, is completely unjust. Please remember we're are not just talking about women with white collar jobs but those who will have to continue working at physically demanding factory jobs.

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