From the TUC

State Pension Age – The next Coalition U-turn?

20 Jun 2011, by in Pensions & Investment, Uncategorized

Sarah Veale and I have blogged here previously on how government proposals to speed up the equalisation of the State Pension Age will affect hundreds of thousands of women approaching retirement.

In addition to the Rachel Reeves MP campaign mentioned in previous blogs, Age UK have also been campaigning hard on this issue and have now published a report called Not Enough Time which confirms that the proposed changes do not allow women sufficient time to plan. One of the respondents to the Age UK survey said:

“I have had my pensionable age moved twice now and the financial plans I have made to enable me to retire at 64 are now in tatters. There is simply not enough time for me to make up the shortfall.”

According to the Age UK poll, most women were aware that changes to the State Pension Age were planned but only one in ten knew when the State Pension Age would reach 65 for women. Around two thirds of women polled were concerned about the changes – often because working for longer simply isn’t an option for them due to poor health, caring responsibilities, or unemployment. Of those polled, one in three women in social class DE could not work longer because of health problems and 16% were unemployed.

The Age UK online survey found that 29 per cent already have caring responsibilities and more than 40 per cent have health problems. As one respondent explained:

“I retired early on ill health grounds and also care for my disabled husband. I now find that my retirement age which I had planned for at 60 has crept forward twice and will now be 66. There has been little notification of this change and too little time to adapt.”

This is a Coalition policy which has a growing number of opponents across all parties and, if today’s papers are to be believed, the government may well have to perform a swift U-turn. Actually, given that the policy being debated already represents a U-turn (following a Coalition commitment to not raise the State Pension Age for women to 66 until 2020), I suppose it would be a 3-point turn.

According to the Guardian’s Politics Live blog there’s a “government revolt bubbling away” on this issue and this could well turn out to be the big Westminster news story of the day. Already 177 MPs across all the main parties have signed the Early Day Motion against the speeding up of the equalisation of the SPA for women.

Email your MP to let them know what you think of the State Pension Age proposals. Age UK have done all the hard work for you. Just fill in the online form to send a template email to your MP.

4 Responses to State Pension Age – The next Coalition U-turn?

  1. linda webster
    Jun 20th 2011, 6:52 pm

    Dont the Government realise that a great number of people have spent their working lives as Manual workers, and are physically unable to continue working ad infinitum? Also, how are women to continue working to 65, when we have aged parents to look after, because the “system” can’t afford to! After all…they keep telling us we are living too long. So.. carry on working, dont forget to look after Dad, with lung disease from years of working in manufacturing factories, and don’t forget to look after Mum, who has dementia and has spent her life looking after dad and working full time. When you finally get your pension, get it spent before you succumb to the above yourself!

  2. Beverley Anderson
    Jun 21st 2011, 7:19 am

    After 30 years and the introduction of the Equal Rights Act women in this country are still having to fight for equality. There is no justice in what the government are preposing and no limits to what they will do to keep women on an unequal footing. How can anyone who supported this look themselves or the women in their lives in the face without knowing they have committed the ultimate act of betrayal. Let the goverment of the day remember you are voted in to act for the people, by the people. Your term in office will soon be over and you will want every womans not, but not this one, she not for turning!

  3. Beverley Anderson
    Jun 21st 2011, 7:21 am

    OPPS TYPO: Should read
    EVERY WOMENS VOTE!

  4. Lesley McNaughton
    Jun 21st 2011, 9:38 am

    Born 1956. No kids (‘cos when Thatcher was in power I couldn’t afford them!) Worked all my life in “ordinary” jobs, absolutely no cost to the country! Retirement at 60 was compensation for the unequal treatment women STILL suffer. Personal pension – pots robbed by companies who took contribution holidays – devalued remuneration packages of workers while shareholders got great dividends on the back of it. Pension funds – don’t see many poor fund managers? Now having to work an extra 6 years to make up for all this abuse. Equality – biggest joke. I think I’m entitled to compensation for being robbed and conned all my working life!