This blog is by Rachel Reeves MP in support of Age UK’s State Pension Age campaign
Time is running out for the government to change its plans for the state pension age. For months we have heard vague promises and hints from Ministers that they will make the transition easier for the women worst affected by their plans, but when the Pensions Minister spoke to Lib Dem conference his ‘big bold plans’ for the pension system didn’t deal with this unfairness. The government has less than a month to act before the plans become law.
If that legislation does go through, 500,000 women will have to wait more than a year to get their state pension, 33,000 of them face a two year delay. These changes kick in from 2016, leaving women little time to prepare, and they don’t have the means: these women have, on average, £9,100 saved for their retirement, compared to the £52,800 men of the same age have amassed on average. The loss in state pension income amounts to £15,000 in some cases.
Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, myself and the Labour Party as a whole are standing united, alongside Age UK and the thousands of women affected, against the plans. It’s not fair to put the burden on the shoulders of these women who are the backbone of our families: the mums who took time off work to bring up their children; the daughters who are helping their parents as they get older; and the grans who are providing child-care for their children’s children.
Until the government act on their promises, women are being left in the dark. Let’s keep the pressure up before the third and final reading of the Pensions Bill in Parliament on 18th October.
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