Guest Blog from Rachel Reeves MP – State Pension Age Campaign

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.

For more information about our campaign visit

10 responses to “Guest Blog from Rachel Reeves MP – State Pension Age Campaign

  1. Surely the government must backtrack on this cruel and ill thought out plan to make us work even longer for our state pensions. The fact that we have already cheerfully accepted up to 4 years each seems to have been forgotten and now we’re to be required to work up to 2 years longer (in my case 1 year and 11 months) with less than 7 years notice for the pensions that we’ve paid towards since our early teens. It’s not on! it’s not fair and for many of us it’s not realistic to think we can go out to work daily until we’re 66 years old. We don’t want charity, we want what is rightfully ours, our state pensions at the age we were told in 1995 (with 15 years notice) that we would be eligible for them.

  2. Rachel, the Unions and the women affected who have worked hard on this campaign deserve to succeed in stopping this proposal from being passed. This is indeed the generation of women who are the backbone of their families and who deserve to have their state pension at the age they were promised.
    I hope all the MPs will vote against this very unfair law.

  3. we have all fought this for so long – campaigned hard against it – wrote several times to our mps – some of us have even gone to parliament to lobby our mps – we have had backing from Labour and the unions and even some coalition mps – Age Uk have fought tooth and nail for us – we have begged and pleaded – all of this to no avail to a few hard hearted men who rule this country (at least until the next election that is) – these men are crucifying this country – they seem to have plenty of money to send abroad to foreigners and fight wars that nobody wants then have the brass neck to steal from their own people – where is the justice in that – come on cameron you know you are so wrong – stop this unfair injustice before it is to late – show us all that you do have a heart

  4. My friend’s 42-year-old son has worked for about 5 or 6 years since leaving school at 16. He will receive his state pension aged 67. I left school at barely 15 and will have worked for 51 years, paying 51 years worth of tax and NI contributions, at age 66. Please enlighten me as to how the proposed rapid increase in pension age for women born in 1954 is even remotely fair.

  5. The Government know that this Bill is unfair so why don’t they do the right thing and amend it. I think it is now a face saving exercise for them. We have paid our contributions from our teens, and accepted a 4 year rise already, To force an extra 2 years on us is cruel. We are not the cause of the Pensions crisis and we don’t deserve to be punished in this way.

  6. Thanks for all your help, Rachel, it’s good to know somebody is fighing for us. I am already exhausted at 57 despite the fact I have a desk job – but add to that five days travelling time and the stress of dealing with customers and computer systems plus I’m not in great health. It’s Labour all the way for me. You deserve a medal for all your hard work.

  7. carolyn conroy-wright

    Dear Women: I am honestly struggling with this.
    The Cut off date is Oct 1954, I was born November 1954. For the sake of 4 weeks I will lose almost 5yrs Pension money. I started work at 15yrs of age and have contributed all of my life to my Pension. When I was 15yrs old I was TOLD by the Govt that I HAD to contribute to my Pension, THERE WAS NO CHOICE it was taken from me automatically. I was TOLD I will receive it when I’m 60. I’m nearly 60 and I want my money. Why should I wait until I’m 64yrs 7months 7 days before I can have my money back. I’ve kept my side of the agreement but the Govt has broken their agreement with me. I’m so angry when money is being frittered away by Bankers, fraudsters and the likes to fund lavish lifestyles, giving my money to people who don’t deserve it when I NEED it. Why am I being penalised–do I have any voice or Human Rights? I have no provision for the money I will lose, it is the Govt who mis-managed my money not me, they are discriminating against me. I want my money because it’s MINE not theirs. Please help me as I have emailed so many people, my own MP (Cons) is still blaming the previous Govt – he’s a wet lettuce.Thank you for reading my email, please reply I dont know what else I can do.Yours sincerely Carolyn.

  8. Carolyn I’m so sorry but you’re in the same boat as us, after 1995 you were never going to get your pension at 60 because it was decided then that women’s state pension age would start to rise from April 2010. Born in Nov 1954 you were looking at retirement around July 2019 but under this new bill it would be November 2020 giving you an extra 69 weeks to wait for your pension. Bad enough you might think but for those of us born earlier in 1954 it’s 100 (in my case) or even 100 plus extra weeks to wait for those unlucky women born in March and early April 1954.
    Oh yes it’s wrong, it’s cruel, it’s daylight robbery and we are all angry about it and that is why we have fought all this year to try to stop it happening, and now we are waiting, until 13th October, to find out what the promised transitional arrangements are to be. We have a facebook group you’d be welcome to join, just search for protest against proposed accelerated rise of state pension age.

  9. I am absolutely livid about this change. It was bad enough when the first stage was announced. I was born on 7 June 1954 and I would have then retired on 6 September 2018. This in itself angered me especially as my cousin, who was born on 25 January 1954 and therefore 4 and a half months older than me, would have been able to retire 9 months before me. With the new changes, she can retire 11 months before me. What have I done to deserve this?
    I have 5 children and have been married for 34 years. I worked full-time until I had my children, who were born between the ages of 29 and 35. I then worked in the evenings whilst my children were at school and, in addition, was a childminder for 2 days a week. I took a few months only off work between each child. For the last 4 years I have been working full-time. I have a physical job as a Home Support Worker and have only ever been out of work once in my life, for about 3 months, when I claimed unemployment benefit. And my reward for all this is to be told that I have to wait another 6 years before I can retire. It’s bad enough to be told this when in one’s 20s but retirement is such a long way off that it seems like a lifetime away. Not so when you are in your 50s and the end of the tunnel is in sight. My husband is 4 years older than me so if I retire at 66 he will be 70. We both enjoy walking in the mountains in the Lake District, Skye, Wales and so on and were looking forward to so much more free time to do this when we retired. Some hopes!
    If this all goes ahead, there is no way that I am working until I’m 66. I will simply live at retirement level as far as my money is concerned until I’m about 63, putting away the extra into a savings account, and then, from the age of 63, use that to continue living at retirement level until I actually reach retirement age, whatever that may be by the time we reach 2020. No doubt the goalposts will have moved yet again!
    Of course, if I was David Cameron or any one of his moneyed associates, I could retire early but, as usual, we as the plebs have to pay for the greed and short-sightedness of others.
    I continue to be livid 😦

  10. The Work and Pensions Secretary of State, IDS announced today (13/10/2011) that instead of being unfair to women born between 1953 and 1955 by 24 months, it will only be unfair to the extent of 18 months – still totally unacceptable. Especially when the National Insurance Fund, which pays out all state pensions, has a surlus in it of over £40 billion. The government uses that surplus for other non pension related purposes which is absolutely disgraceful.

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