As I See It
Women’s fury deserves a rethink on pensions
They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Westminster should take note of the old proverb following a weekend when this website was mobbed with women venting their anger over the change to the state pension age.
Thousands of readers picked up on our story that MPs in Westminster are agitating for some sort of early payment to those women born in the mid-1950s who feel cheated by the decision to defer paying state pensions to women until they reach the age of 66.
A series of acts of parliament effected the change, notably the Pensions Act 2011 which equalised the SPA for men and women at 66. But many readers said there was little publicity, either before or after the legislation was passed. For men it meant a one-year extension, but for women it is a five year delay in receiving the state pension.
The final act was particularly unfavourable to women born in the mid-1950s who were due to retire in the coming months. They will now have to wait until 2022.
More than 22,000 read our story that MPs will demand action this week, and 200 posted comments claiming they felt the government had been wrong to make the change without properly informing those affected.
One common theme was a feeling that the government has reneged on a ‘contract’ with the government when they began paying their national insurance contributions. They have waited 40 years to get the pension they were promised, only to be told that Westminster has unilaterally changed the rules – a ‘breach’ of contract.
Some pointed out that, because of the way the rules have been drawn up, two women born in the same year could have a three-year difference in receiving their pension.
Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) has demanded ‘fair transitional arrangements’ for those affected.
MPs on the Work and Pensions Committee share their concerns. They believe the Government has a duty to compensate those who will otherwise lose out on thousands of pounds they believe they are entitled to receive.