Government criticised over SPA
Women ‘grotesquely disadvantaged’ over pensions
The government deferred the state pension age (SPA) for women in a number of acts of parliament but Mr Field has criticised the way this was handled and communicated.
Women born between April 1951 and 1960 will have to wait for up to six extra years to claim the payout they were expecting from the age of 60.
In the Pensions Act 1995 the SPA was extended from 60 to 65 by 2020. Five years ago it was decided to speed up the process and bring it in between April 2016 and November 2018. The SPA becomes 66 by October 2020.
Many women who expected to retire at 60 say they have lost around £40,000 that they believe is their entitlement after paying their contributions during their working lives. Some argue the change in the law amounts to a breach of contract by the government.
It has emerged that the government did not inform any of the women affected for 14 years after the initial law was passed in 1995.
More than 220 women have written to Daily Business to voice their anger, many explaining that they were not given enough opportunity to make alternative plans.
Many are represented by the campaign group Waspi (Women Against State Pension Inequality) which held a demonstration outside Parliament on 29 June.
Mr Field chairs the Work and Pensions select committee, which has been investigating the issue and came up with a proposed compromise that would allow women to draw a reduced pension before the SPA kicked in.
But Stephen Crabb, who succeeded Iain Duncan Smith as Work and Pensions Secretary, said in May that it was “fiscally impossible” and that there was no “do-able policy solution”.