State Pension age rise delayed for worst hit women

Gareth Tregidon

The Government’s Welfare secretary Iain Duncan Smith has announced delays to rises in State Pension Age for women who stood to be worst hit by the changes.

 The original reforms would see the State Pension Age (SPA) for women reach 65 by November 2018, and rise to 66 for both men and women by April 2020.  The amendments tabled today, will propose that the SPA for men and women reaches 66 by October 2020.

Under plans announced last year SPA for women would go from 60 to 66 by 2020.

Gareth Tregidon          

However men’s age will not start rising from 65 until 2018.   The early rise for women meant around 500,000 women currently over 55 would see their pension age rise by more than a year, and in some cases two years, overnight.

Women, who would have had to wait an extra two years, will now have to wait an extra 18 months.  Duncan Smith said: ‘We have listened to the concerns of those women most affected by the proposed rise in state pension age to 66 and so we will cap the increase to a maximum of 18 months. We have always made clear that we would manage any change fairly and ensure any transition is as smooth as possible.’

Pensions minister Steve Webb said: ‘We want to end the uncertainty for women waiting to learn what their state pension age is, and we will be communicating with those affected so that they can properly plan for their future.’

Speaking to the BBC, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “This concession means the government has now accepted that it got the increase in the state pension age for women wrong.  But hundreds of thousands of women will still lose out, and they have every right to be angry.

“Putting up the state pension age doesn’t create a single extra job for older workers, and the worst hit will be those women who can neither work nor claim a pension, and have to rely on our tough and mean benefits system.”

State pensions will cost the government an extra £45 billion by 2025 because of the triple guarantee to uprate the basic state pension by the highest of earnings, prices or 2.5%.

Gareth Tregidon

Financial Planning Manager

(Sources: Citywire, BBC & Financial Times – 13th October 2011)

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