Caroline Flint has supported a call for action to address women who have been adversely affected by changes to the pension age.
Said Caroline “Many women born on or after 6th April 1951 have been unfairly hit by the increase in the state pension age. Many of them have been entirely unaware of the changes, leaving them without employment and adequate support, having not been able to put their own arrangements in place. It is vital that the Government puts in place transitional arrangements to soften the blow.”
The 1995 Conservative Government’s Pension Act included plans to increase the women’s state pension age to 65, the same as for men. The government announced changes to the state pension in 1995, designed to bring the qualifying age for women in line with that for men by 2020. This increase, from 60 to 65, was accelerated in the 2011 Pensions Act, so that the women’s retirement age was 65 by 2018 and a new pension age of 66 would take effect by October 2020.
“By accelerating these changes, the Government has made this even worse, not better for this generation of women. So I was pleased to be able to attend this important debate to support this motion. It was also notable that not a single Government MP had the conviction to vote against. Now I hope the Prime Minister and the Work and Pensions Secretary will bring forward the necessary steps.
“Only the Government can put in place proper and adequate transitional arrangements for these women.”
The motion was passed 158 votes to 0. It stated: That this House, while welcoming the equalisation of the state pension age, is concerned that the acceleration of that equalisation directly discriminates against women born on or after 6 April 1951, leaving women with only a few years to make alternative arrangements, adversely affecting their retirement plans and causing undue hardship; regrets that the Government has failed to address a lifetime of low pay and inequality faced by many women; and calls on the Government to immediately introduce transitional arrangements for those women negatively affected by that equalisation.