State pension changes for women born in the mid fifties

By | 02/10/2017
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Are you a woman born in the mid fifties in the UK ??

 

Recently we have seen many changes to the state pension here in the U.K. for most women born in the mid fifties a extra 6 year wait has been added on to the retirement age so instead of retirement at the age of 60 you now have to wait till your 66th birthday.retiring in the UK

This has caused a lot of outrage and rightly so especially for those who have worked many years to qualify for this pension.

Now do not get me wrong I always thought men and woman should retire at the same age, it is the way this change was pushed through, not enough notice was given to try and bridge this gap, or information as to what we can do about this.

On average women born in the mid fifties stand to lose approximately £48.000 pounds from their pension and for an average working woman this is quite a big amount to try and find to bridge the gap.

The government carry on like this is a benefit however it is not we have paid into this and trusted them to take care of our money, had they worked this out sooner we could have made other arrangements.

Even for those who have paid into a private pension are being warned now that the may only receive 50% of their pensions so if you have time go and get advice on what the future holds for you, how effective are private pensions for the averaging working person, young people need to think of this now and start saving.

Recently I joined a group called WASPI and in doing so joined thousands and woman up and down the country to fight this in justice, whilst I know things have to change I am sure there could have been a better and fairer way to do this. I signed the petition to express my opinion on what had been done, this is the response I received.

You’re receiving this email because you signed this petition: “Make fair transitional state pension arrangements for 1950’s women”.

 


Dear Catherine 

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Make fair transitional state pension arrangements for 1950’s women”.

Government responded:

Since 1995 the Government has gone to significant lengths to communicate SPa changes. There will be no further concessions on this issue to avoid placing an unfair burden on working age people.

State Pension age (SPa) changes
The Government took necessary action in response to rapid rises in longevity by increasing men and women’s SPa in the Pensions Act 2011. This accelerated the equalisation of women’s SPa by 18 months and brought forward the increase in men and women’s SPa to 66 by five and a half years, relative to the previous timetables. Failing to act in light of compelling demographic evidence would have been irresponsible and would have placed an unfair fiscal burden on the working population.

The Government has done a huge amount to improve pensions for all, particularly women. Future women pensioners stand to benefit on average from a higher new State Pension payment, from the expansion of Automatic Enrolment, and our Fuller Working Lives strategy. And a woman retiring today can still expect to receive the State Pension for over 24.5 years on average – three years longer than men. If State Pension ages had not been equalised, women would be expected to spend over 40% of their adult life in retirement.

The Government has taken this issue very seriously and has looked at a range of alternative options, including options considered by Parliament during the passage of the 2011 Act. This resulted in a £1.1bn concession, which capped the increase in SPa at 18 months relative to the 1995 timetable, and benefited almost a quarter of a million women who would otherwise have experienced delays of up to two years

All alternative options offered by stakeholders to mitigate the impact on those affected come at significant cost to the public purse. Reversing the Pensions Act 2011 would cost over £30bn, whilst returning to a female SPa of 60 would cost in excess of £70bn by 2020/21 alone (with £38bn needing to be found in this tax year alone), and would generate a new cliff-edge and inequality between women and men.

Introducing further concessions cannot be justified given the imperative to focus public resources on helping those most in need.

Helping people work for longer
The Government is committed to supporting people aged 50 years and over to remain in and return to work. The number of older women in work is now at a record high: there are around 1 million more women aged 50+ in work than in 2010. The average age of exit from the labour market for women is currently 63.6 – well above the previous women’s SPa of 60.

Government has reformed legislation to create the right framework to support Fuller Working Lives. We have removed the Default Retirement Age, meaning it is now unlawful to dismiss someone just because they reach age 65. We have also extended the right to request flexible working to all employees with six months continuous service, so that people can negotiate a work pattern that suits their circumstances.

Our ‘Fuller Working Lives Strategy: A Partnership Approach’, published in February 2017, aims to increase the retention, retraining and recruitment of older workers, and bring about a change in the perceptions and attitudes of employers.
We have also appointed a Business Champion for Older Workers, Andy Briggs, supported by a team of employers at Business In The Community, to spearhead Government’s work and actively promote the benefits of older workers to employers across England – influencing them both strategically and in terms of practical advice.

The Government is also committed to supporting the vulnerable and spends around £50 billion a year on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions alone. Whilst Carers Allowance and related benefits provide financial support and safeguards for carers and their families, including those who are ill or have disabilities.

Communication of SPa changes
Since 1995 the Government has gone to significant lengths to communicate SPa changes, including high-profile campaigns and writing directly to those affected.
Significantly, in the last 17 years the Department has provided over 18 million personalised State Pension estimates to people who requested them (either online or by telephone or post; and based on old and new State Pension rules). The Department has encouraged people to request these as part of their long-term financial planning – after all, retirement is a life changing financial decision and there is an expectation that people will plan for this.

There is no legal obligation to write to people to tell them about changes in their SPa. In the years after the 1995 legislation (1995 to 2011) this equalisation was frequently reported in the media and debated at length in parliament. People were notified with leaflets, an extensive advertising campaign was carried out, and later individual letters were posted out. The changes in the 2011 Act occurred following a public Call for Evidence and extensive debates in Parliament.

In summary
Increasing life expectancy is a cause for celebration but it also presents significant fiscal pressures as relatively fewer working age people are called upon to support a growing number of pensioners. The old age dependency ratio is set to increase by one quarter over the next 25 years – from 301 pensioners for every 1,000 working age people today, to 375 pensioners for every 1,000 working age people by 2042.
With the increasing financial pressures described, we cannot unpick a policy that has been in place for 22 years. It is simply not affordable, especially when we take into account that the average woman reaching State Pension age last year will get a higher state pension income over her lifetime than an average woman reaching SPa at any point before.

There will be no further concessions on this issue as this would require people of working age, and more specifically younger people, to bear an even greater share of the cost of the pensions system.

Department for Work and Pensions”

pension crisis for woman born in mid fifties

 

In November 2015  I received a letter to inform me that I cannot have my pension till I am 66yrs old giving me 3yrs notice to do What ??  exactly I had no idea.

Trying to get into work can be very difficult especially if you are like me and have health issues.

So a few points that stood out for me are :-

  • Place a burden on the tax payers”    how many woman are still paying their taxes are we not still tax payers.

 

  • We provide support to the sick and disabled”  ok how many sick and disabled have had their benefit cut or taken away and how  much do they give to those family members who take on the role of carers for the work they do not much.

 

  • Many others do not fall into these categories and work in physically demanding roles they struggle with now can they keep it up for another 6 years ??

 

  • They claim that this was a high profile notification yet even on their own government website up until February 2016 they still claimed we could retire at 60yrs old.

 

  • Woman still are working in their fifties yes perhaps there are however how many were thinking when I get to 60 I can slow down a bit or retire, I also note they do not give figures as to how many are working in their sixties.

 

  • They also mention that someone has been appointed to deal with woman in this situation however it just says England, what about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland does our own governments sort this out.

 

We have a unique government that can predict how long we will live for so for woman working forty years or more you can still enjoy 20.5 years of retirement !!!!  lets face it had the government done a better job in managing the country’s money we perhaps would not be in this position, how much gets wasted, how much is spend on stuff that is not necessary when will they put the Great back into Britain.

Recently it was suggested by a M.P in a debate that we should stop thinking about retirement and perhaps take on a modern apprenticeship really!! next they will be suggesting workhouses.

Don’t get me wrong if I can continue working longer I will, however for me to do this I had to learn new skills and believe me takes me longer to learn these days.

To get a job I began self employed seemed the only way to work around health , not to mention the constant job rejections.

Why would a company hire me when there are younger, fitter and more reliable people out there, especially those smaller companies where every penny counts.

At one time you could go on to pension credit which is a reduced pension till you got to the official retirement now that has been moved to 66yrs as well.

However if you reached retirement age before April 2016 you may be entitled to this, if you want to check go to the government website.

There is also a pension checker you can go to that will tell you how much your pension will be and when you will get it.

We all know the Law and Justice are not the same thing and where as the government advise us they have no legal duty to advise us, does that make it right where are the moral standards.

All the money they take care of is the money of the people do we not have a right to know what they are doing with it, money for state pensions or private should be kept apart and no one should be able to use it for any other means.

Some of the problems woman born in the mid fifties face:

 

 

If you are in this position make your voice be heard join thousands of other woman to try and get a fair deal , sign up and join WASPI again I emphasis we are all in favour of equality however I as well as thousands of others feel that this has been unfairly done, there is a difference between waiting one or two years six years is a long stretch.

I am still learning and working towards trying to provide the loss of income I will have for the next 6 years, the internet has provided me with opportunities and I feel fortunate to be able to learn.

I am aware there are many who do not use computers or perhaps do not know how to use the internet, this could be a possible way for you.

These are only my opinions and I am sure you have your own thoughts on this matter, so if you want to share your thoughts on the matter just leave a comment

8 thoughts on “State pension changes for women born in the mid fifties

  1. gregS

    Hi Katie
    Your pain and anguish is shared by many people over 50. I live in Australia, and over the last 20 years the government is always changing pension and superannuation rules. Why can’t they just make rules and let them be, the constant change is a pain.
    I started work at 17, and being told that i would be eligible for an aged pension at age 65. They have now changed these rules, and some people have to now work until they are 70.
    When will this nonsense stop? I know it is to encourage more taxpayers to invest for their retirement, and not to rely on the public pension, but will they stop changing the rules? Not likely!
    Good luck in your fight with the government, they will always come up with an argument that suits their legislation. No wonder Brexit happened.
    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you Greg for your response, the only reason we are up in arms over it is because of the way it was done the deliberately targeted women from this period of time as it was baby boom so bigger group to save most money from and we did not get much notice this was going to happen, I worked from the age of 16yrs and private pensions  for woman really only came into their own in the 90’s and if Australia is in the same boat even those with private pensions are being told that they are looking at a 50% payout, personally I think people should look at other ways to invest their hard earned money, all we are looking is for a phased in process to make it fairer

      Reply
  2. Andy

    Wow, I can certainly understand your frustration. You were promised something and now they’re wanting to go back on their promise. Here is South Louisiana, we call that “crawfishing.”

    I do understand the government needing to do something. They probably underfunded the pensions for years and now are unable to pay out the payments. State governments here in the US are doing the same thing. I do think they should have a grandfather clause if they’re going to so something like that so people close to retirement aren’t caught off guard.

    Best of luck getting this changed.

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks Andy I really think governments should not be allowed to touch pension funds, or at least told us much earlier instead they pushed through a act to bring it all around quicker specifically targeting woman in this group, even those with other private pensions may struggle to get a decent return

      Reply
  3. Lynne, Pensionless Pensioner

    I have been a WASPI since 2015. Fighting for justice only to get knocked back time and time again. I was notified 20 months before my 60th birthday. No time to prepare. Retirement plans have been shattered after working 47 years as for the past two years I have had to live off my savings as cannot claim any benefits due to husband still working. They have pushed me into Pension Poverty with no savings left after a lifetime of hard work. 1953 born ladies had 4 months added for each month born – an increase of almost 4 years in just one birth year!! Meaning that those born in 1953 get their SP in 5 DIFFERENT YEARS – how is this fair? We had the highest acceleration which then had a knock on affect to those born later. Added to this they increased the qualifying years at short notice too and your pension is reduced if you were contracted out at any time. Not many get the full SP. I paid 47 years full SP and I am still £10 short of basic SP. In my mind, if you have contributed 40 years you should be able to retire when you want. Those who have never worked and get their NIs paid by the DWP qualify for a full SP. On hindsight I wished that I had stayed at home, lived on benefits and had more quality time with my son. Work pays does it? I think not.

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you for your comment Lynne I to am fighting for changes to make it fairer I have often wondered how people who have never worked get a full SP to as a woman born in the fifties I worked and raised my family yet it feels like that it was all in vain. I got two years notice of the change and instead of getting my pension next year have to find ways to create an income for a further 6 years, I am hoping the government will reconsider their position on this and I feel frustrated and angry that they have done this, WASPI is working very hard to try and get changes, being on my own means I have no choice other than to work for a prolonged period of time and as you say there are those who have never worked will get the same deal as us.

      Reply
  4. joani

    The Govt said it did this to equalise genders. Rubbish! Treating people the same is not treating people equally. They took no account of the inequalities endured by women born in the 50’s – differences in education, job opportunities, pay, even availabilty of pension schemes , all meant we have been less able to provide for our retirement than men of the same age. They have increased the inequality between men and women even further. Add to that the fact MP’s changed their own pension scheme to give themselves a bridging pension to cover the extra years, and the injustice and unfairness is magnified even more, – if they felt justified in giving themselves extra help (on, lets not forget, salaries of at least £72k per year), how can they justify denying that same help to the rest of us??

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you Joani for you comments and I agree they have not taken on board the difference in the wages during these times nor the lack of pension schemes around, I also feel they targeted this age group as it was baby boom era more women more savings for them, I will continue to fight and joining WASPI has helped push for a fairer way to implement this equalising of pensions, we have not been treated fairly and it is the same old thing take care of themselves before the ordinary working folk

      Reply

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