Women’s pensions: Wealden calls for fairer transition arrangements

Wealden District Council has called for pension transition arrangements for women nearing retirement age to be made fairer following legislative changes which have increased the State Pension Age for women beyond 60.

A motion passed unanimously at a meeting of full council said some women born after April 6, 1951, were being unfairly penalised by the increase in the State Pension Age because of a lack of appropriate notification.

The motion proposed, by Councillor Daniel Shing, Independent Democrat, Polegate South, called upon “the Government to make fair transitional state  pension for all women born on or after 6 April, 1952, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age with lack of appropriate notification.”

Two years’ notice

The motion, seconded by Councillor Johanna Howell, Conservative, Frant and Withyham, estimated that some “10,000 women in Wealden could potentially have been affected by these changes. Some women had only two year’s notice of a six year increase to their pension age.”

Councillors said that while they respected the need for equality in payment and pension provision, there has been a lack of information forthcoming to enable women to make adequate financial provision.

Time for Parliament to take action

The Government had not made the situation clear to start with. It was the time for Parliament to take action to settle for a fairer pension transition arrangement for women affected by this.

Some people had been told that in 12 months’ time, when they thought they would be getting a pension at 60, found it would be at 62, 63 or later. People did not have time to plan. That is why the request is for a transitional period to cover those cases.

You can check your State Pension Age on the Government web site https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-age.

Full text of Wealden motion on women’s pensions

The full text of the motion passed by Wealden District Council is:

“The Council calls upon the Government to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born on or after 6 April 1951, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age (SPA) with lack of appropriate notification.

Hundreds of thousands of women had significant pension changes imposed on them by the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011 with little/no/personal notification of the changes. 10,000 women in Wealden could potentially have been affected by these changes. Some women had only two years notice of a six year increase to their state pension age.

Many women born in the 1950s are living in hardship. Retirement plans have

been shattered with devastating consequences. Many of these women are

already out of the labour market, caring for elderly relatives, providing childcare for grandchildren, or suffer discrimination in the workplace so struggle to find employment. Women born in this decade are suffering financially. These women have worked hard, raised families and paid their tax and national insurance with the expectation that they would be financially secure when reaching 60. It is not the pension age itself that is in dispute – it is widely accepted that women and men should retire at the same time. The issue is that the rise in the women’s state pension age has been too rapid and has happened without sufficient notice being given to the women affected, leaving women with no time to make alternative arrangements.

The Council calls upon the Government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women born on or after 6 April 1951, so that women do not live in hardship due to pension changes they were not told about until it was too late to make alternative arrangements.”

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