The Government has refused to change its’ mind and will press ahead with plans to raise the retirement age for women.
At the second reading of the Pension Bill Iain Duncan-Smith (left), Secretary of State for Work and Pensions made it clear that the government would press ahead with plans to raise the female retirement age to 65 by 2018 and 66 from 2020.
The Secretary of State did however say that the government would consider “transitional arrangements” for those women worst affected.
Despite a growing call for these changes to be looked at again, Mr Duncan-Smith was in no mood to do so saying that any delay would cost £10bn.
It is thought that these changes will affect up to 4.7 million people, although most of these will only have to wait a few extra months for their state pension. There is however a small group of women born between December 1953 and October 1954 who will be worst affected with delays of between one and two years.
The National Association of Pension Funds said it was disappointed more was not being done to help those who are affected by these changes.
Joanne Segars, the NAPF chief executive said: “”The Government needed to revisit this issue to try and iron out the unfairness, and it’s disappointing they haven’t listened. Telling someone in their late 50s that they’ll have to work another two years is out of order, and leaves many struggling with the switch into retirement.
“The state pension age for women should be brought into sync with men’s. But women are bridging six years and so need more time to catch up. For 330,000 women the process has to become more manageable. The Government must step forward quickly with details on how it will help them.”
The main argument for delaying the changes to the State Pension age is that the women affected have little time to make up the shortfall. Women’s private pension provision is already inferior to that of most men with an estimated 40% of women aged 56 of over having no private provision in the form of a Personal Pension or an Occupational Pension.