Women And The State Pension – The Issues

Pensions are one of the battle fronts of Election 2017 as rival parties fight to promote their retirement policies.

At the forefront of the debate are state pensions for women.

Thousands are protesting that new retirement age rules are unfair and leave them at a financial disadvantage.

What’s the argument about?

The government identified the state pension was costing the country too much and that the bill was only likely to grow.

As part of the remedy, new laws were introduced to make the state retirement age fair for both genders as women traditionally retired at 60 but men had to wait until the age of 65. The argument was women lived longer than men and in an age of equality, retirement ages should even out.

The government’s solution was to raise the state pension age for women to 65 and to gradually introduce the change over a decade from 2010.

This was changed in 2011, when the retirement age for men was increased to 66 years old and the changes for women were speeded up.

Are all women affected by the changes?

No. Around 2.5 million women were impacted by the age changes, but most have had time to rethink their retirement plans. A core of around 300,000 women born between December 1953 and October 1954 have to wait an extra 18 months before receiving their state pension.

Who is leading the campaign?

A group called WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) heads the protests and is demanding the government either changes the law or pays compensation to women most affected by the new rules.

What does the government say?

Ministers have repeatedly stated that the rules will not change and no compensation will be paid.

What about Election 2017 promises?

The Tories and Lib Dems have both chosen not to support the WASPI campaign.

Labour has indicated support, but failed to detail any proposals.

“We welcome Labour’s commitment to WASPI women and their understanding that we deserve both recognition for the injustice we have suffered and compensation. We look forward to reviewing their actual proposals as soon as possible,” says the group.

Find out more about WASPI

Join the WASPI campaign or donate to the cause through the group’s website.

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