Pensions – November 2015

We need a pensions system that is fair to everyone that has contributed, that is sustainable and that provides the security and dignity we all expect in retirement.

Many pensioners and those approaching retirement are concerned about some of the Government’s recent changes to the pensions system, in particular, the impact these changes could have on women born in the mid-1950s who may now have to wait longer than expected to claim their pension.

As life expectancy rises there will have to be increases in the State Pension Age in order to ensure the system is sustainable and affordable. However, it is also important that people have proper time to plan for these changes. Some people affected by these changes have been unable to make contingency plans or adjust in the time frame set out in the Pension Act 2011.

During the last Parliament Labour MPs did press the Coalition Government on the impact these changes could have on women born in the mid-1950s, including the 500,000 women who will have to wait more than a year to receive their pension and the 33,000 who will have to wait two years. In light of this the Government did make some concessions. I would have liked to have seen further progress on this, including changes to ensure that women were not disproportionately affected. The Government have recently stated they do not have any plans to revisit this.

Concerns have also been raised about the Government’s implementation of the single-tier pension, which could see around 700,000 women born between 1951 and 1953 lose out. I support the single-tier pension, but I believe the Government should review how this particular group of women will be affected by implementation.

I hope the Government listen, respond and help provide information and advice for those affected by these changes and who may be understandably concerned about potential loss of income in their retirement.