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Increases to women’s state #pension age – Parliamentary debate 4.30pm today

by on February 1, 2016

This afternoon at 4.30pm Parliament will debate the changes in state pension age that currently affect women in the UK.  The debate will be led by Helen Jones, MP, the chair of the petitions committee. It has come about as a result of a petition which gathered the required 100,000 signatures needed to compel parliament to examine the matter. As explained in this article in The Guardian last month, the petition also calls for “fair transitional arrangements” for a particular cohort of women – the several hundred thousand women born in the 1950s – who it is said have had their retirement plans “shattered” by state pension age increases.

This item on the BBC News website includes a short film featuring a number of women adversely affected by the decision to raise the age at which women will now be eligible to receive their state pension. Last Saturday’s Independent reported how many women born in the 1950s say they weren’t given enough notice about the increase in state pension age, part of a wider range of reforms to equalise pension and retirement between men and women and also to promote longer working lives.  These changes were enacted in the Pension Acts of 1995 and 2011. Many argue that they received no notification of these changes (particularly since the timetable for their introduction has been speeded up). Consequently, they say ‘they have been unable to prepare for the extra years they need to work, leaving them facing financial worries at a time when they expected to be able to start enjoying their golden years‘.

This has led to the formation of an action group, Women Against State Pension Inequality or WASPI (link here to their Facebook page). The group campaigns ‘against the unfair changes to the State Pension Age imposed on women born on or after 6th April 1951 (and how the changes were implemented)‘.  I notice that some of the recent posts are critical of Roz Altmann’s contribution on this morning’s BBC Radio 4 Today programme: listen again via this link (the item and interview aired at about 8.40 am).

If you want to watch the debate live, this is the link to the Parliament Live TV coverage.

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