Bob Ainsworth – Member of Parliament for Coventry North East – has called on the Government to act fast to protect 500,000 women hit by plans to accelerate the state pension age increase – before it is too late.
MPs have been inundated with messages from women affected by the plans. But despite thousands of people signing a petition, a mass lobby of Parliament, thousands of emails, and a series of questions to the Prime Minister, the Government have not delivered on their promise to produce plans for ‘transitional arrangements’ to ease the burden for those most affected.
The Government’s plans to accelerate the state pension age increases mean that 500,000 women will have to wait for more than a year longer before receiving the state pension, leaving many women aged 56 and 57 robbed of their pensions.
300,000 women born between 6 December 1953 and 5 October 1954, will have to wait an extra 18 months, and an unlucky 33,000 will have to wait an extra 2 years, before being entitled to their state pension.
The majority of these women will already be well underway in their plans for retirement, with many already working reduced hours in order to care for grandchildren or elderly parents. Yet they are now being forced to make significant changes to their financial plans, with just 5 years notice before the changes kick in.
The unlucky 33,000 born between 6 March 1954 and 5 April 1954 are set to lose around £10,000 in lost state pension, with less than 7 years to attempt to accommodate the change.
During the debate in the House of Commons on the Bill the Government repeatedly said they would look at ‘transitional arrangements’ but have failed to deliver.
“I’m calling on the Government to change their plans now to protect the 3,000 women in Coventry who are being made to wait up to two years longer for their state pension. Many of these are women who have juggled working lives with raising a family, and who have very little retirement saving to fall back on. The lack of warning of these changes means they do not have enough time to adjust carefully thought-out retirement plans.”
Labour’s Shadow Pensions Minister, Rachel Reeves MP said:
“Time is running out for 500,000 women: the Government must act now. The women hit by these changes are the back-bone of our families. They are the mums who took time off work to bring up children, the daughters who are helping their parents as they get older, and the grans who are providing childcare for their daughters’ children to help them balance work and family life. Those women most affected deserve certainty and fairness as they approach retirement.”