Setback for campaign

Crabb dashes hopes over women’s state pension age

Stephen CrabbThousands of women campaigning to have their state pension rights restored have suffered a major setback.

New Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb (pictured) has ruled out reversing the change which will mean women having to wait longer for their state pension.

Women born between April 1951 and 1960 will have to wait for up to six extra years to claim the payout they believe they were expecting from the age of 60.

Many say they were not made aware of the change which was ratified in legislation in 2011.

It had been hoped that a compromise could be reached that would enable those affected to draw their pension in phases.

This was proposed by the Work and Pensions Committee chaired by Frank Field, which said its plans would be ‘fiscally neutral’.

But Mr Crabb, who was promoted into the Cabinet post after Iain Duncan Smith’s dramatic resignation in March, rejected the committee’s proposals. He said: “I don’t see there is a do-able policy solution.”

He said he had discussed the committee’s plans with some of the women affected. “When I have discussed that, some of the women have said that’s not actually what they want.”

He said: “It is just fiscally impossible,” adding that it was “irresponsible for anyone in this House of Commons to try to pretend, or lead these women into thinking there’s an easy decision to be made.”

Members of the campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) said they were disappointed, but remain hopeful that a solution can be found. More than 200 of its members and supporters have written to Daily Business criticising the government over the policy.

The Pensions Minister, Ros Altmann, only recently admitted that she did not hold out a lot of hope of reaching any sort of compromise.

Marion Smulders, a co-founder of Waspi, said: “I am disappointed, but still hopeful.

“There is a cross-party parliamentary group on this. I trust they will have further contact with Stephen Crabb, and hope he will re-visit this.”

She said a lot of women affected would have been happy with the compromise suggested by the Work and Pensions Committee, although it would not be acceptable for everybody.

3 Comments to Crabb dashes hopes over women’s state pension age

  1. Disgusting way to be treated by this government, although not surprising!
    i now have to work an extra 6 years as a result of the Tories and Lib Dems deciding amongst themselves
    to bring forward the original date of 2020 to 2018 to enable them to implement their plan of making us work longer before being able to collect our pension. Neither of those parties will ever receive my vote in any future elections again. Typical Tories the nasty uncaring party, all for the rich and privileged and not giving a dam for ordinary working people!

  2. It’s an absolute disgrace Stephen Crabb!!!
    I’ve worked since I was 15 years of age, I’m now nearly 61. I’ve paid in to the system all these years.
    I’m so angry that I can’t get my state pension until October 2021, and at that reduced after I was contracted out WITHOUT BEING NOTIFIED OR GIVEN A CHOICE!!!! I will still not be able to get the whole new amount of state pension in 2021. Yet my next door neighbour who has never worked will be able to get the whole new amount of state pension.

  3. Really can’t think what to say in response to this after all the hard work of Waspi women. Please think again. So disapionted

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