State Pension Age Reform Bill

4.9 million baby boomers will be affected by the proposed State Pension Age Reform Bill. Of those 2.6 million baby boomer women in their mid to late 50's will be the hardest hit because they will have little time to change their plans.

Whilst we acknowledge the need for pension reform in view of the fact that we are all expected to live longer, the current proposals to speed up increases to the state pension age have provoked anger not only from campaign groups but also from Politicians. More than 180 MP's have signed a motion against the plans, including 26 Coalition MP's.

The proposals are to increase the pensionable age for both men and women to 66 in April 2020.

Previously the plan was to raise the age from 65 to 66 between April 2024 and April 2026. Women were already seeing their state pension age rise from 60 to 65 by then, but now they may have to face working a year or more longer than they had expected to.

lady sitting on the beach

33,000 women born between March 6 and April 5, 1954 will have to work two years longer missing out on £10,624 in state pension based on the current value of £102.15. a week. They will also have to wait longer for state earnings related pension and pension credits.

On Monday 20th June 2011 the second reading of the State Pension Age Reform Bill took place when the Government ruled out returning to the previous timetable. However, there was a lot of unhappiness expressed amongst backbenchers that the Bill was discriminating against women. It pledged to discuss 'transitional arrangements' to the worst affected women. Although there was no indication what they might be.

Proposed Alternative Proposals to the State Pension Age Reform Bill

Alternative proposals suggested for the State Pension Age Reform Bill, reported by the Daily Mail's Money Mail supplement on June 22nd 2011 are:-

  • Accelerating the increase beyone age 66 faster than planned. This would involve returning to the previous timetable until 2020 and then increasing the state pension age to 66 by April 2021 and to 67 by April 2025.

Saga is reported to favour this option as it would give people ten year's notice for a one year change and 14 years' notice of a two-year change.

Men and women will also be treated the same, it argues. The state pension age would reach 66 and three months by April 2022, 66 and six months April 2023, 66 and nine months by April 2024 and 67 by April 2025 for both men and women.

This would save a further £5 billion on top of the existing proposals;

  • Keep the slower increase in state pension age until 2020, then accelerate the rise to 66 by April 2021 instead of 2026. This would cost an estimated £7 billion;
  • Limit pension age increases to no more than one year for everyone. This would cost £4 billion; or
  • Provide pension credit to women affected by the changes. To protect women on low incomes, the Government could make means-tested pension credit available to people in line with the slower women's pension age timetable.

This tops up weekly income to £137.35 for single pensioners. This would cost £800 million.

Age uk Campaign

Age uk led a campaign  to raise the unfairness of the original proposals in the State Pension Age Reform Bill  to try to persuade the Government to reconsider the speed of increases in State Pension Age.

Although the campaign didn't have the desired outcome which was that the Government should have stuck to the Coalition Agreement which stated that women’s State Pension Age would not start to be raised to 66 until at least 2020. 

They were instrumental in getting the Government to listen to some extent to concerns and it has helped those most affected.

There are still a lot of unhappy people out there who are going to have to work longer than they had anticipated and many are disappointed that more has not been done.

However the Government’s amendment has now been agreed by the House of Commons and it is unlikely that this specific issue will be revisited.

It has agreed an amendment to the Pensions Bill which means that no-one will have to wait longer than 18 months.

This will benefit around 245,000 women and 240,000 men and cost around £1.1 billion. The Pensions Bill needs to go through its final stages in Parliament and should be law shortly - we are not expecting any
further changes.

Are you affected by the changes in the retirement age proposed by the State Pension Age Reform Bill?

If you were born before 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1960, download this guide to find out when you will receive your State Pension.

The file is a pdf document and will open in a separate window.

State Pension Age Reform Changes

For more information and to join the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) Campaign click here

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