Women deserve better deal on pensions, says Blyth MP

Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell.
Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell.
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Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell is calling for a better deal for women born in the 1950s because, he says, they will be the ones hit hardest by the rolling rise in the state pension age.

He said: “Time and again, ministers have failed to listen to this group of women and to understand the impact that their decisions have had on these women’s lives.

“The Government must look again at transitional arrangements.”

The 1995 Pensions Act increased the state pension age for women from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and 2020 to bring it into line with that of men, but in 2011 the Government decided to accelerate the rise in the female pension age from April this year, so that it reaches 65 by November 2018, then goes up to 66 by 2020.

“This has meant that some women did not have enough notice of changes and could not plan for their new circumstances, leaving them in real difficulty,” said Mr Campbell.

“We have always stressed that changes to the state pension age must be carefully implemented so that those who are affected are given adequate notice of the changes and have enough time to plan for the future.

“Many of these women have faced gender inequality in their working lives, having entered the world of work without even the protection of the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

“Many will also have taken time out of work to bring up children, will have worked part-time and will not have had the chance to build up pension provision of their own in the same way as men of their age.

“This makes it all the more difficult for them to adapt to unexpected changes to their pension age.”

Work and pensions minister Shailesh Vara sparked anger last week by suggesting that women affected could go back to work or claim benefits to make up any financial shortfall.