State Pension Age – The next Coalition U-turn?
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.