A fair state pension for all?

This blog was contributed by Hannah Pearce, Age UK’s joint Head of Public Affairs.

Every few years the government announces its intention to fundamentally reform the pension system once and for all to ensure it is fair and sustainable for current and future generations. Each of these attempts is made with good 200x160_moneyintentions and with the hope that the changes will last. However a few years down the line the next government decides it’s time to try again. I’m already working on my fourth pension bill since beginning work for Age UK.

Successive governments are compelled to grapple with the pensions system to catch up with societal changes such as increases in life expectancy, changes in working patterns and to counter structural unfairness. For example several of the state pension reforms in the 2007 Pensions Act sought to ensure that the pension system better reflected the lives of women who often have some time out of employment caring for children, older family members, or working part time.

The compelling reasons for reform under the current proposals were to create a system which is intended to be fairer, simpler and more sustainable. Under the single tier system individuals will receive a state pension based on their own contribution record of up to £146 in today’s money if they have a full record of 35 years contributions.

Age UK is supportive of these efforts because generally those who will benefit from the changes will be people with low lifetime earnings and those who have had time out of the labour market due to unemployment, caring or disability. Around two in five women and one in six men reaching state pension age in 2016 after the changes will get a higher pension. However since these proposals were first mooted we have pointed out that some will lose out.

There is one group, mostly but not exclusively women, who we think are being particularly unfairly treated in these changes; those people who have been expecting to use their partner’s record to receive a state pension or to increase the amount they receive on their own record.

This will no longer be possible and while there will be protection for some this could still leave up to 40,000 people with lower pensions. We think that those people with a legitimate expectation of receiving a pension based on their partner’s contributions and who do not have sufficient time to adjust their plans should be provided with at least the same amount as they would have received under today’s system.

While hundreds of thousands of men and women struggle to manage on insufficient income in retirement it is crucial that the government takes every opportunity to ensure that the safety net of the state pension provides everyone with a defence against a retirement spent in poverty.

Read our pensions bill second reading briefing

Find out about planning for retirement on the Age UK website

84 responses to “A fair state pension for all?

  1. ‘There is one group, mostly but not exclusively women, who we think are being particularly unfairly treated in these changes’
    No there is another group, the women who have had another 18 months of their rightful state pension and freedom stolen and although it’s unfair and discriminates against them no one thinks they are worth fighting for any more. Some of them will never reach pension age and the ones working from 15/16 years old will have paid in far more than the 35 years contributions required now.
    These women are being unfairly treated if anyone is!

  2. There’s nothing fair about the state pension, especially for those of us who are being forced to work longer by the government raising our state pension age for the third time, hundreds of thousands of us will be struggling not only financially but physically as well and we will have worked on average half a century for our pensions if/when we finally qualify for them. I’d have very much liked a pension based on my late husband’s contributions but they appear to have been swallowed up into the great government black hole and his widow has been condemned to work, work, work longer and longer in order to make sure the rich and fortunate keep their big fat pensions and bonuses.

  3. Hannah you fail to mention the devastating impact the short notice people (including 500,000 women) were given re the discriminatory changes to the State Pension Law. Something of which the Government reneged upon.
    ,
    Yet MP’s and Judges are also protected from the changes to their pension scheme i.e. those within 10 years of Normal Pension Age will not be affected.

    The following is a quote from MP’s Pension Scheme document.
    “This protection strives to be fair to members who are close to their expected retirement age and are less able to change their plans than younger members”.

    Civil Servants were also not affected in order to “Provide transitional protection for those closet to retirement” .

    So what is your opinion on this clear case of discrimination. Why haven’t Age UK campaign against the changes?

    http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/statepensionlaw

  4. So, Hannah…you think it is ok for women to do physical work until they are at least 66. Have you ever done a days physical work in your life? I have osteo- arthritis, lumbago and currently have a broken bone in my foot. I am self-employed and 57 years old. I can’t afford to take a day off. Not for me holiday pay and sick pay. If I don’t work I have no income. If I approach the Govt. I get nothing at all despite paying in to the system since I was 17. You are living in Middle Class Cloud Cuckoo Land

  5. There is nothing fair about the way this Government is tackling the Pension issue. The targeting of women born 53/54 with a further increase in their retirement age,and with only 7 years notice.,This is unfair, discriminatory and immoral. They have created an underclass of women, forced to work on and in many cases in hard manual jobs. Jobs they will not be able to do into their late 60s. Unable to find alternative employment and denied the Pension that they have paid for over 51 years.
    We want fairness we want the same consideration the Government gives to Civil Servants Judges MPs and of course Ministers. Non of them will be affected by an increase in their pension scheme age within 10 years of retirement. The following is a quote from http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06283.pdf

    “This protection strives to be fair to members who are close to their expected retirement age and are less able to change their plans than younger members”.
    Well we want the Government to strive to be fair to the thousands of hard working women whose only crime is to be born in the wrong year.

    • Well said Linda. We have been discriminated against and that is illegal. How they have got away with this beggars belief.
      The sooner people realise that people power is a formidable force and that WE CAN effect change if we stand united the better.

      It’s very unfortunate that Age UK refuse to help us.

  6. Britain’s State pension was never meant to be a safety net. It was meant to increase with national prosperity, which it did from 1974-5 under the then Labour Government, but in 1980 Margaret Thatcher broke the link that kept the State pension increasing with British prosperity.

    I have a website dedicated to how badly Britain’s pensioners have been treated since the 80’s and Thatcher, the reasons/s why ?, and the desperate need for young people to be made aware and join the 30 year fight for better State pensions for our elderly people. There is also a political section for your views, and two petitions on my site that need signatures. My site is free to join, and free to comment on all postings http://la65.forumotion.co.uk/
    I would like you please to join my site and take part in commenting

  7. I worked for 47 years, I started on my 15th birthday and retired from Age Concern when I was 62 years old. I have never been unemployed, often working as a waitress, washing dishes, etc. when there was no other jobs. I have never had children, never been in hospital, never drawn any benefits at all, I saved to buy my own house and have never borrowed or been in debt, if I cannot afford anything I don’t buy. But it seems if you are careful with your money and save and have a private pension you are penalized. No I do not think that the pension system is fair, especially for women like myself.

    • Hi, there are so many of us in the same position and I really empathise with you. If you haven’t already done son please sign my petition and encourage family, friends etc. to do the same.

      The petition now stands at 5841, with 100 more people signing yesterday.
      Onwards and Upwards!!

  8. I am a 59 year old woman who has worked and paid my NI contributions for well over the 30 years qualifying period. When I reach 60 years of age in June 2014 I should have received my state pension. This was the agreement the government made with me and thousands of other women born during the same period . Now due to the changes in pension age I won’t receive my state pension until I am 65 years & 7 months old. I did a calculation basing it on my state pension forecast, (obtained from the DWP), not taking into account any increases over this period. The government are robbing me of £33,160.32, money that is rightfully mine. If a private pension company had behaved in this way there would be a government enquiry. They should be ashamed of themselves. It’s nothing short of daylight robbery.

    Back in 2011 the Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, promised that something would be done to soften the pensions blow for women born between April 1953 and April 1960. He acknowledged that 330,000 women born between December 1953 and October 1954 would face the steepest rise in their pension age, with retirement put back by as much as 2 years. He said: “I can assure you that we will do all that we can to ease that transition for the particular group of women most affected by the change. We’ll make sure that the state pension they do get is calculated in a fairer way. At the moment, pensions are often bad news for women and I’m determined as the minister to change that.”

    I’m one of those 330,000 women affected by these changes and feel powerless that the government have gone back on their promises.

    • So is my wife her birth date was May 1954. Just goes to show you can not trust a Politician. They can look you straight in the eye and lie to your face. They do not give us anything. Beware of Greeks baring gifts. That is the trouble with this country we believe everything Politicians and the Media tell us. What I can’t understand is. Is why. We deserve all that we get.

  9. The fact that Age UK are fully aware of the devastating impact the unjust and discriminatory changes have had upon us yet do not feel we are important enough to support by launching another campaign is unbelievable, given what they state their vision for us is:-

    • be equal citizens with equal rights

    • have enough money for a secure and decent life, and have access as consumers to the products and services they need at a price they can afford.

    • have opportunities to participate and contribute as volunteers, active citizens, good neighbours, family members, and workers

    • enjoy the benefits of longer life, wherever they are in the world.

    It wouldn’t cost them one penny to launch the campaign and let us, those who have been affected the most, manage it from there on. There are enough of us who would be willing to do this.

    So Age UK, I ask yet again, will you support us to receive what is rightfully ours and to ensure we are being treated equally to MP’s, Judges and Civil Servants?

    http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/statepensionlaw

  10. My sister will be 60 in April, I retired at 60 in 2007, she is 7 years younger than me yet she has to work to 2019 which is 12 years after I retired. It’s discrimination! She has age related complaints yet has to go out to work while young people lie in bed to pass the time away because they can’t get a job. It can only get worse as the state pension age goes up and up and older people are forced to work and block jobs and now an employer can finish an employee who can’t manage their job, how many people in their 60s are going to be struggling to survive instead of having their well earned state pension? It’s NOT a benefit, we pay in for it all our working lives. it’s not fair on the older people who have done their bit nor on the young ones who can’t get a start in their working life.
    Yes AGE UK please help, you will find plenty support for this campaign from the women who are being robbed of their money and some freedom to take life a bit easier too.

  11. AGE UK should be supporting the campaign ‘Reverse State Pension Law’ this law that was passed by this government is discriminating to all born in the 1950’s.

  12. I have read numerous articles on this subject, and there are a number of forums and campaigns out there, all of which I’ve signed. What women really need those is ONE forum, run by a reputable and worthy group such as AGE UK with newspaper and TV coverage, to get to as many women as possible. It is far better having one forum where women can vote, in their (300,000) thousands, namely all the worst affected women, rather than 2000 signatures on one petition and 5000 on another. With a massive petition of 300,000 signatures maybe the government will listen. We need to ask the coalition why within 6-7 years of retirement they changed our retirement dates again, yet will not change MPs retirement dates if THEY are within 10 years of retiring! Surely this discrimination cannot be either fair or legal!

    • Margaret Sharp

      I agree with Carole’s comments of the 29th July 2014. The 300,000 women most affected by the pension changes don’t have much of a voice with the various petitions that have already been on the go for some time now but a massive petition would have much more impact and hopefully make the coalition Government sit up and take notice of the unfairness of the changes they have made that affect women like me. Come on Age UK step up to the mark and get this massive petition on the go with the publicity it needs in the press and media coverage.

      • According to Rachel Reeves the figure is far greater. She stated in a letter to me that 700,000 women born on after 6th April 1951 have been affected the most. It is very disheartening and that Age UK have now abandoned and betrayed each and every one of us.

    • You are so right Carole, we all need to get together with some organisation with clout behind us but Age UK have given up on our cause! Our group has a petition started by very dedicated and committed member Anne Keen and it has over 18,000 signatures now. We had 12,000 on the Unions Together one with Barbara Bates my co founder of the group as the face of the petition, who along with other women affected by the discriminating accelerated age rise, won a 6 months concession! It wasn’t enough, but Age UK welcomed it! There are still women affected who don’t know this is happening, the coalition targeted these women first and second age rise was rushed through in obscene haste and we are expected to accept it. Well we do NOT accept it, we have no one to legally fight for us yet, but some one SHOULD because it’s unfair, it’s discrimination and it’s disgraceful that organisations for older people don’t seem to care that all those hard working womens retirement plans are in ruins.

  13. Hi Carole, I totally agree with you. Unfortunately Age UK fail to recognise the plight we are in and will not support any of the campaigns you mention. I have one which currently has 18,803 signatures. http;//you.38degrees.org.uk/p/statepensionlaw

    I, and many others have requested their support only to be told that they did campaign against the changes before they we enforced – which we all recognise and accept. Since then they have given up the fight for justice.

    It would be so easy for them to start their own petition/contact their members/followers via social media which won’t cost a penny. The fact that they refuse to do anything gives the impression that they are in bed with the Government. What other reason is there not to adhere to their own mission statement?

    There have been 2 recent articles on Facebook that totally negate the Governments reasoning for the increase in the State Pension Age.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/10318557/Most-of-us-will-have-to-work-until-we-drop.html

    and

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10976348/Todays-women-will-reach-ill-health-before-retirement.html

    I was surprised that a right wing paper would publish something that disputes the ConDems. Perhaps the tide is turning?

    I have asked Age UK what their thoughts are on this and am awaiting a reply.

  14. There are actually between 500,000 and 700, 000 people affected by this, some of whom we suspect are not even aware that several years of their pensions have been stolen, unfortunately no one with any influence will take up the fight for us, Age UK campaigned against the rise in 2011 as did Unions Together and the Labour Party, we managed to get the 2 years that would have hit those of us worst affected reduced to 18 months but then Age UK betrayed us by welcoming the 6 months reduction while closing their eyes to the reality that we were still being hit with 18 months being added to our already inflated state pension ages. Yes there are several protest groups, as more women become aware of the fact that they now have to wait until 65/66 for their pensions they are shocked into protesting. I agree it would be good to have one huge protest group but organised by whom I have no idea, who actually cares other than those of us affected (who feel we will never be done with working until we die on the job) and our close families?

  15. Thanks for all your replies. I have signed every petition I can find on this subject, the first being Barbara’s and more recently 38 degrees, I’ve also asked relatives to sign, and it’s nice to see the number of signatures increasing daily. What really worries me is the women like us who expected to retire at 60, who were then given their new phased in retirement date and who are unaware there has been another change. There has been news about the state pension age rising from 65 to 66 with future increases, but has anyone seen anything on the news about the 300,000 who have had their retirement date extended for a third time? This third change made 6-7 years before retiring is incredibly unfair and makes me so angry that MP’s exempted themselves! We should all now turn to Saga as Age UK has been so unhelpful, someone out there must support us women! In the meantime we must encourage everyone to sign, keep up the good work Anna Ruth and Babz.

  16. I left school at 15 and have worked up until I was over 60. I had to pack up work because of arthritis and being severely deaf. I never claimed any benefits and when I am 65 I will receive a pension that will be less than everyone else because I was born in 1950.

  17. I empathise with you George – this is blatant discrimination.

    The government and Age UK refuse to accept or acknowledge our right to retire at the age we’d been promised and contributed to all of our working lives.

    They also dismiss the official statistics from the Office for National Statistics that actually discredit their rationale for the accelerated rise in the state pension age i.e. increased life expectancy. Healthy Life expectancy is far lower than retirement age. Kept quiet about that haven’t they?! http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/statepensionlaw

  18. I was born Dec 1954 and started work when I was 15. Brought up a family and worked I n between, despite being a single mother. I will be 60 December 2014 not in great health and was hoping to retire and move out of London to be near family. Think I deserve this after all the years if paying into the system to expect me to work another 6 years is too much to bear.

    • I feel so sorry for you and am in exactly the same situation as you being born in 1954.I had to retire in 2013 because of illness and am now being told that I won’t get my pension for six years. My husband is two years older than me and will retire at 65. They just gave no thought to the impact it would have on us.they only think of looking after people from other countries not British folk.I can’t even get my bus pass till 2020 and I would have really appreciated the help.

  19. Why isn’t Age UK replying to the requests on here? Who are they actually working for?

  20. Roger this was something that thought of as well and wondered if AgeUK were sending a private answer to people as you are the first to ask this question on here. But again I thought why should they send a private answer when all of us would actually like to see the replies.

  21. I haven’t had a private answer fro Age Uk.

  22. Makes you wonder, as I read today Charities are being threatened by the Government to not speak out against them under threat of having their finances that the Government gives them being taken away. So AgeUK perhaps you would like to enlighten us.

  23. Hello.

    We completely understand your frustration with what is, as you quite rightly say, an unfair situation for those of you who fall into this age group.

    It’s equally frustrating for us that there seems to be no opportunity for us to make a difference as the government shows no intention of changing its position.

    At Age UK we can only engage in a limited number of campaigns at once and we consider extremely carefully which are likely to effect the best change for the most older people.

    Unfortunately, as the Government has recently considered this issue, and has delivered other pensions legislation, we are not campaigning on this issue, but have instead raised it with decision makers through our policy and public affairs work.

    We’re sorry to not be able to be of more help to you.

  24. That says it all doesn’t it “We’re sorry to not be able to be of more help to you” I thought they were a charity helping elderly people, or am I mistaken?

  25. I totally agree with everything said above. I find it absolutely monstrous that you can say that you care about older people, and yet allow the Government to make changes to our retirement age without any consultation with your target group about how we feel! You just go along with everything as though it’s OK. It’s not OK! There are a lot of people out there who are angered by the way they are being treated. Many of them, including myself, never received anything from the government telling us of the changes they were making. There are still people out there who are not even aware of the changes. This is a disgrace and needs to be addressed immediately.

    As a direct result of these changes, there are many older people, having to sign on in their 60s, paying bedroom tax out of their benefits. Consequently they are living in extreme poverty, while you say and do nothing. How dare you set yourself up as a charity for older people, entertain David Cameron without saying a single word (as far as we know) about this despicable situation. Many of us have worked since we were 15 and deserve to retire when we’re 60, as we were promised all of our lives. The more you are silent, the more we will shout. We will not go away!

  26. I hear what you say, but as far as I’m concerned, you are pretty much saying that there is no chance. Well cheers for that. Negativity helps nobody. We KNOW the Government are not interested but that’s the whole point of campaigning! To both educate the people ‘out there’ of what is going on and further, to gain numbers so that the Government have to listen. That’s what campaigns are for in the first place. If everybody said, like you, there’s no point, we’d still have workhouses and no workers rights whatsoever! We’re asking you to get our message out there. You’re a charity for our age group and you need to campaign with us! You need to help us inform people as you have a much wider audience. You need to promote our campaign on your website. I feel it’s your responsibility. Even if that’s all you did it would be something, but you repeatedly refuse to listen and use the same rhetoric as the Government i.e. people are living longer, so pensions are rising. This is a nonsense. It doesn’t matter if people are living longer, this is not across the whole country. Many areas have a much lower life expectancy than others. In some areas healthy life expectancy is less than retirement age. How can you say there’s no point in fighting this? Are you willing to allow this type of discrimination against people in this country? You should hopping mad and determined to change this totally despicable situation. We need you. Why aren’t you helping? Otherwise, what is the point of AgeUK if you’re not willing to be there when we need you? Is this the country we’ve become where we allow people in their 60s to sign on, live on 70 odd quid a week? And out of that measly amount they have to pay Bedroom tax in many cases, energy bills, water bills etc. and still be able to eat. It can’t be done and yet you think this isn’t an important issue. I can’t think of anything more important than this. If you don’t agree, then you need to go and join Camoron, in cloud cuckoo land.

  27. Stock reply from Age Uk….seen that statement before, word for word!
    Scratching each other’s backs for sure!!!
    I will say it again, I just want the choice to retire at 60 .

  28. Age UK – if you do not want to initiate a campaign then at least support those of us who are making a stand against the unfair, unjust and unnecessary changes to the State Pension Law.

    You can do this by simply making a post on your page saying something on the lines of “Those affected the most by the recent changes to the State Pension Law may be interested in these petitions” – then include the links to the relevant petitions.

    Obliging this request will alleviate your frustration as this is an ideal opportunity for you to make a difference.

    This petition I created http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/statepensionlaw currently has 24,262 signatures. I would ask that you read some of the comments left by those who have signed as they highlight the devastation and despair the changes have caused.

    Consequently, once having done so, I sincerely hope their comments will convince you to support the current independent campaigns as suggested above.

    Regards
    Anne Keen

  29. Age UK – it seems another comment has disappeared. I made one on 25th October at approx. 2pm. Is there a reason is has not been approved?

    • Hi Anne

      If something hadn’t shown up before now, it’s because you left it at the weekend. We don’t have the resource to monitor the blog on Saturdays and Sundays
      Thanks

    • Claire Bottomley

      No one has even mentionedtheplight divorcees like me (born 1954) whose divorce settlements were based on me getting my pension at 60, now 66+.
      We don’t have husbands to share financial burdens and struggle to survive, alone. I am disgusted and sickened at the theft of years of pension when I have paid into it for 35 years.

      • No they haven’t thought about the impact on you Claire or maybe they have and don’t care. It’s like my widowed sister, born 1954, she has no support, no private pension as she had no chance to save any, so she has no choice but to struggle on working with osteo arthritis, they’ve stolen years of her rightful state pension and all of her late husband’s state pension too as he died at only 57 . How do they expect a woman alone to survive on JSA if she loses her job and she’d be hounded to find a non existent job too. Going sick is not an option, she’d be hounded off it again with no chance of a job. There are no jobs for over 60s, it’s bad enough that young fit people can’t find work! If everyone retired at 60 or even 62 it would solve unemployment overnight, but no it’s cheaper to keep young people on benefits than it is to pay older people their rightful state pension at the age promised to them when they started work. The coalition probably hope many people will die before they reach state pension age so they can steal all of their pension.

  30. Thanks for your prompt reply. I take it it will be approved today?
    regards

  31. Age UK – I doubt if anyone will ever understand our frustration about the unfair way we have been treated.

    If you really want to make a difference then I make a formal request that you post the links (on your Facebook page) to the petitions created in relation to the State Pensions Age.

    You could perhaps include a comment – something on the lines of “Those of you affected the most by the recent changes to the Stet Pension Law may be interested in these petitions”.

    This is an ideal opportunity for you to support those of us who have had our retirement plans shattered.

    regards

  32. Besides Laura’s campaign please support this one too:- http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/statepensionlaw

  33. I am not saying Charities are running scared or that this may be the case here. But, it does make you wonder. If it is the case then shame on you

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/17/oxfam-advert-campaigning-charities-stifled-by-government

  34. I came across this Blog via google – is there a link on the main page to it? And has anything been done to link to the various petitions? I am one of the affected and feel ignored and sidelined with regard to this issue.

  35. Age UK, I feel as though I have had a six year sentence imposed on me for something I haven’t done. I mean this seriously. I think many of us that the new SPA affects could have coped (just) with an 18 month rise but to have to face six years is totally unacceptable. Many of us are already struggling with health issues and I am just about to turn 60 in a few weeks time. The stress and worry along with the health issues I already have is taking it’s toll on me already. How I shall cope during the six extra years I have to work I don’t know.

  36. At least MP’s are not getting stressed by this Sandra as they voted to make themselves exempt from any increase in their pension age.

    • I have only just found this site. I have already signed the 38 degrees petition.
      I have just turned 61 this month should have had my pension last year then -goal posts change told 63 and 10 months changed again to 65 and 5 months and yet I know someone who is 62 on Monday ( just 11 months older than me) and will have their pension on Oct/Nov this year and yet I have to wait a further 2 years and 6 months after them with only 11 months difference in age, I’m happy for them but this doesn’t make sense. Shame on you Age UK that you are not fighting our case – We need you. Why isn’t our case good enough to take forward again and again. Fight for what is rightly ours. We have been cheated out of our money. Are the government blind – there would be more jobs for the younger element. I feel I have been discriminated against in my own country. Perhaps we should all stand together outside Parliament.

  37. i feel exactly the same, can t seem to express the disdain and dispair i feel, when i talk to people about it, they nod and make a frown and then quickly move on to some silly aspect like did you see the x factor, i started work at 15 and fully expected my pension at 60, i have all the age related illnesses that creep up on you and feel robbed, we were not given enough notice of this change and we are supposed to be living longer, are we, this goverment wants you to peg it before you are able to draw it, i will be 59 in march and have to wait till 66. Meanwhile they persecute the young ones with their sanctions under the guise of not looking for work hard enough, return the retirement age to 60 and free up the work that is at present filled with 60plus people who should be enjoying a rest, i sign every petition i can and hope they make an impact, age uk should be standing side by side on this.

  38. Pensioners deserve not to have money worrys. They should not be worse of as a result of david camroms new laws, weres the respect for our elders

  39. I expect you have explored the idea of getting PIL (Public Interest Lawyers) involved, and maybe they won’t help (money as usual!).

    I am approaching 60 and would have retired. Instead, I am ill, live alone and my future consists of the ever-present fear and dread of being made homeless. Rather than retiring I may well be placed onto JSA, with the endless threats of sanctions, resulting in withdrawal of Housing Benefit, and eventually eviction, as all these ‘benefits’ are connected and tumble down like dominos.

  40. Thanks Ruth, what a shame Age UK or some other organisation with the power to help, backs off. I am not a member, but thanks for the details. I have signed the 38 degrees petition as well as the other one. I am very pleased to see that the 38 degrees petition is picking up momentum. Excellent, as this really does need to be addressed. I agree that this is daylight robbery, and very unfair to drop this clanger on us at the last minute.

    • It’s good to see people are contacting MP’s re this grave injustice. The petition is now at 52,268 and I am handing it i on Tuesday 24th March.https://you.38degrees.org.uk/events/petition-hand-in-reverse-the-state-pension-law

      In the interim pleas keep sharing the link to the petition at every opportunity http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/statepensionlaw Thanks

      The Labour Party are emailing people re Ed Miliband’s “People Question Time” campaign bus and asking people to submit questions.

      Here’s mine:-
      Will you reverse the State Pension Law and implement your own fairer policy as expressed by Rachel Reeves MP, prior to the changes?

      She stated “I have backed a plan that would equalise the State Pension Age for men and women by 2020 and then increase the pension age for both men & women from 65. Along with Labour leader Ed Miliband, I will be leading the charge in Parliament against these unfair, unjust plans”.

      If you don’t receive one of these emails you can express your opinion on their website http://www.labour.org.uk There’s a short questionnaire that ends with the question “”Labour would definitely have my vote if…”

      No need to guess what I put here either!

      Finally, it would be in our interests if everyone contacted The Fawcett Society’s Chair – Belinda Phipss, who I, and others, are currently liaising with re them supporting our campaign. Chair@FawcettSociety.org.uk

      There’s been lots of interest on Twitter too, Dr. Ros Altmann actually re-tweeted on of my Tweets to her than include the petition link.

      • Claire Bottomley

        I wrote to my MP Philip Dunne and got a load of platitudes back about how the bus pass and heating allowance is being retained! At 60 I don’t qualify for any of them!

  41. Very unfortunate that ‘those that can don’t ‘ ! I too wish that some large influential organisation would come to our rescue. I have just discovered that two other countries have had the state pension age reversed, so I am sure it can be done here.

    I hope this post is accepted, as I put one up several days ago and it has not appeared (I am not referring to the one a few posts above this one explaining how I am being affected by the changes).

  42. I have just learnt through applying for a pension forecast that I can no longer claim part of my late husband’s pension because this is being abolished in 2016. A few years ago, this was valued at approx. £20 p.w. I only received a widow’s allowance for a year after his death to the value of £1664 for that year. I also have had my state pension age rise from 60 to 62 and now 65 years 3 months.. Unable to claim tax credit because of working zero hours and unable to guarantee the hours required to claim this! I earn just over the minimum wage have had to pay all financial outgoings on my own. Where has my late husband’s pension contributions gone?

    • Hi! Karen – I’m a widow as well – pension was 60 – then 63 10 months now 65 5 months. I like you only had the widows benefit for 52 weeks. My late husband passed away in 2001 – so where is his pension money going. I like you missed out on widows pension – the goal posts moved with our own pension and now to be told I want get part of my late husbands pension ( which is news to me ) when I’m pensionable age is unbelievable. So myself and many others have lost out on 3 accounts. How can this be?

      • Kay and Karen, I had no idea bereavement allowance (as widows pension is now called) was for such a short time! I thought it went on until retirement if you husband died when you were over 45. Maybe you would like to come and join our group on Facebook, “Give people the Option to Retire at 60 with a state pension”. You may also like to sign the petition on there or directly through the link: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/let-men-and-women-retire-at-60-with-a-state-pension. 🙂

      • Margaret Sharp

        Hi Kay
        It’s true that the state pension age changes have recently been reversed in two other European countries so it can happen. Don’t wait around on Age UK fighting our corner for us as it won’t happen. Please do as I have and e-mail Pensions minister Steve Webb at the House of Commons. I have included the e-mail I sent to him yesterday. If enough of us let the Government know how unhappy we are with these changes and that they can’t expect our vote in the General Election then we have a voice, better than sitting back doing nothing and feeling powerless.

        E-Mail to Steve Webb:
        I am a 60 year old woman who has worked and paid my NI contributions for well over the 35 years qualifying period. When I reached 60 years of age in June 2014 I should have received my state pension. This was the agreement the government made with me and thousands of other women born during the same period . Now due to the changes in pension age I won’t receive my state pension until I am 65 years & 7 months old. I did a calculation basing it on my state pension forecast, (obtained from the DWP), not taking into account any increases over this period. The government are robbing me of £33,160.32, money that is rightfully mine. If a private pension company had behaved in this way there would be a government enquiry. They should be ashamed of themselves. It’s nothing short of daylight robbery.

        Back in 2011 you as Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, promised that something would be done to soften the pensions blow for women born between April 1953 and April 1960. You acknowledged that over 350,000 women born between December 1953 and October 1954 would face the steepest rise in their pension age, with retirement put back by as much as 2 years. You said: “I can assure you that we will do all that we can to ease that transition for the particular group of women most affected by the change. We’ll make sure that the state pension they do get is calculated in a fairer way. At the moment, pensions are often bad news for women and I’m determined as the minister to change that.”

        I’m one of those 350,000 women affected by these changes and feel powerless that the government have gone back on their promises. Meanwhile while researching this issue further on various websites I found out from a House of Commons newsletter that MP’s voted to make themselves exempt from these changes and any MP who reaches pension age within 10 years of December 2013 will be exempt from these changes. Where is the fairness in this. It’s a case of we will see ourselves alright while paying no regard whatsoever to the voters affected by this.

        I look forward to hearing your comments.

  43. Tomorrow is the day when the petition is handed in and I wish all those who attend a successful day.
    It is clear to me why AgeUK will not help. They also support Workfare, which is forcing people to work for their benefits. At first glance, that may not seem a bad idea. However, those people are rarely, if ever, offered work at the end of their mandatory work period. This is driving down wages and when one considers the wages were already too low, this is very bad news – sorry for going off-topic.
    Many like me will be facing losing out on around £33,000 that was due to us. Worse than that, some will also be facing destitution and the never-ending punitive JSA schemes, rather than retirement. This is a fear that never leaves me.

  44. I am 60 in June should have my state pension. I’ve worked since I was 14 shampooing in a salon then at 18 managed to own my own business for the last couple of years I’ve had to be off sick. I’m full of arthritis depression 2 years ago got pushed to the ground badly injuring my back and neck. I am on my own find it hard to cope without my daughter don’t know how I’d cope don’t get they say there’s not any jobs for the young but make older people work longer until we probably die doing it.

  45. A total waste of time posting on this pathetic site. They DO have the choice to help, but they have chosen to turn their backs. Absolutely disgusting.

  46. I agree completely Joanna. Still, AgeUK don’t care that lives are being destroyed.

  47. Claire Bottomley

    Of all the organisations, Age Uk should be supporting us! I wish someone who has clout would take the DWP to court to challenge the theft of several years of our pension payments!

    • We have been saying this for ages on Age UK Claire and they don’t care, however there is a massive campaign on twitter at the moment using the #Waspi which is women against state pension come and join us on twitter or facebook we won’t give up!

  48. This is my story born in 1949 i have worked all my life i did pay married woman’s allowance but we always expected to recieve the married couples pension when my husband retires in two years time he was born in 1952.but i have been told that under the new rules i do not qualify for anything in effect i do not exist.our pension will be the 146 my huband will qualify for when he retired i get nothing can this be right

  49. Like so many women have said before, the acceleration of pension age during 1953 is outrageous. How can they justify a 3 year difference for being a few months younger or older. I will have paid 50 years of NI contributions by the time I retire, having worked full time for 46 of these years and 4 years part time when my daughter was pre-school. I’m more fortunate than some because I will have a reasonable occupational pension (but due to apalling annuity rates, much less than expected); and still have fairly good health and a job I enjoy, but I do feel very cheated out of time to enjoy some of the things that many people take for granted, particularly when some of my friends who are only months older than me will be enjoying their coffee mornings, fitness classes etc. up to 3 years before me.

  50. Born in 1953 – my mother died in 1961, I left school at 14 with no qualifications, my husband passed away with kidney cancer in 2004 – I continued to work – until my health stared to go down hill, my MRI results showed a bulge in my neck and bone spurs impinging on the C6 nerve, I could no longer continue to do my job as a cleaner. I then attended a tick box assessment – and I was informed that I was fit for work – I have no reflexes in my elbows and suffer from dizziness – pins and needles and a swollen right hand – I was sent to the job centre within days, I’ve never felt so demoralized, and continue to suffer from deep depression – for the last 4 years my son and daughter have paid all my bills, I don’t receive any benefits – and for the fact I had to wait a further 2yrs and 9 months for my state pension has been truly devastating.

  51. The state pension age increase gave nobody born in the 1950’s 10 years notice. We have all been affected. I was born in 1959 and have paid in 39 years NI. What a mess and so disrespectful to the 50’s decade (men included)!!

  52. Debate today – unanimous agreement. Anyone listening? Re-read all the above heart-breaking stories. This is all completely unnecessary.

    I think this is the start of the fight, and those that oppose will regret their arrogant stance.

  53. Hello I like most of the 1950s ladies went out to work at 15.And in July i am 61 and still out working.We had no 10 years notice,like the MPs,Judges,or Civel Servants.I have watched all of the debates,and they couldnt care less about the 1950s women who have gone out to work all these years,and payed in N I and taxes.We have been treated very very unfairley,and i could have said more.Let the young ones go out now and do our jobs,and instead of foming us all of,about the cost of our state pensions,which we have payed into give us our hard earned state pensions.This year i am out workng 45 years,would that really be right.This goverment have no shame.To treat hard working women and men in such a fashion.Its outrages.Lets hope the pensions committee and Frank Field MP come up with our pensions.or i have to agree with Jen it will be the start of the fight,to get our state pensions.And enjoy our own time out of the work place.And our well earned state pensions.

    • Hi Delia, please join Waspi which is on Twitter or Facebook for all up to date news about our fight for our State pension for women born in the 50s.
      #Waspi women against state pension increase.

  54. The legal battle begins now as the government do not appear to want to give us our pensions. Even if it takes years, and most of us are dead and gone before a fair legal fight is won, it will still be worth it. Unbelievable that during our last years we are being forced to take this option.

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