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Delays to female state pension age increase

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Female employees who would have endured an unwelcome two-year increase in their state pension age will now wait 18 additional months instead, following changes to the government’s pension’s bill.

Under the changes, the increase in women’s state pension age to 65 by 2018 and 66 by April 2020 has been delayed by six months, with the increase to 66 not happening till October 2020 instead.

The move will be welcomed by the 500,000 women born in 1953 and 1954, who previously faced a speeded up increase in their state pension age to 65 by November 2018, followed by a further one-year increase to 66 by April 2020. This meant that approximately 40,000 women faced a two-year delay before they could claim the state pension, compared with their previous expected state pension age.

“We have listened to the concerns of those women most affected by the proposed rise in state pension age to 66 and so we will cap the increase to a maximum of 18 months,” said Welfare Secretary, Ian Duncan Smith. “We have always made clear that we would manage any change fairly and ensure any transition is as smooth as possible.”

For months, campaigners have hounded the government, demanding that the decision to speed up a rise in the state pension age be deferred. Many feel that affected women need more time to plan their finances or ensure they have work to cover any shortfall in retirement income caused by the later pension payments, the Guardian reported this week.

“We welcome the changes that have been made, they have listened to our concerns and we appreciate that it is a significant financial commitment from the government at a difficult time,” commented Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK. “This will give a much needed six-month respite to all the women who would have had to work an extra two years.

“We would have liked the changes being made to have gone further. Having faced uncertainty twice already these women must not be affected by any further changes to their state pension age again without sufficient notice.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

October 17, 2011 at 10:25 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with ,

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