Clause 1 of the Bill brings forward the dates on which the State Pension Age (SPA) for women and men will be equalised at 65 to November 2018, with the male and female state pension age then rising to 66 by April 2020.
That would mean:
- 4.9 million people waiting longer than expected to qualify for their state pensions – 2.3 million men and 2.6 million women
- Around 300,000 women in Britain born between December 1953 and October 1954 having their SPA increased by 18 months or longer
- The worst affected group, 33,000 women born between 6th March and 5th April 1954 having their SPA increased by two years, losing on average £10,000 each.
Many of the women affected are carers or in poor health and working for longer may not be an option. They may have already reduced their working hours in the run-up to retirement or may be facing redundancy in the current recession. These women face bridging a two year gap between their expected and new SPA, without enough time to plan properly. They may have to manage on out of work benefits topped up with whatever savings they have managed to accumulate, risking poverty in retirement as modest savings are depleted early.
So the Bill would mean more inequality and more poverty for older women. They are being asked to bear an unfair burden.
And as people find out what the Bill means, they are getting angry. Typical comments to Age UK include: “This has come as a great shock to me and I am sure to thousands of other women. I have not slept properly and lie awake wondering how I will cope. We simply don’t have enough time to save money now to try to meet the shortfall”.
140 MPs have already signed up to an Early Day Motion backing this campaign. But we need more MPs to support it to help persuade the Government to change its mind. The lobby on May 18th is crucial.
If you are affected by the Pensions Bill, come along to our Lobby! Find out all the details and let us know you’re coming by visiting www.ageuk.org.uk/spa.
If you would like more information on the campaign and how you can help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We need your support!