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Government holds firm over women’s pension age

Government holds firm over women’s pension age

Category: Retirement

Updated: 21/06/2011
First Published: 21/06/2011

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The Government has vowed to stand firm on its plan to increase the state pension age for women to 65 by 2018.

But Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary has said that he is willing to work to get the transition right for the 'relatively small number of women' who are set to suffer from the new rules

Under the coalition's current plans, women will see the age at which they can draw a state pension rise from 60 to 65 by 2018, before the age inches up to 66 for both males and females by 2020.

Critics have blasted the plan, saying that many women will have to work for longer than they had previously planned, throwing their retirement plans into chaos.

Some estimates have said that more than 300,000 women will have to work for up to two years more than they had originally thought.

And despite more than 170 MPs calling for a rethink, the Government has refused to budge from its position.

In a debate in the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Duncan Smith said: "Responsible government is not always easy government.

"It involves commitment, tough decisions and a willingness to stay the course."

Explaining the reason not to reschedule the time at which both men and women pick up their state pension at 66 to 2022, the former leader of the Conservative Party said that the move would cost the taxpayer £10 billion.

He argued that such an amount would place an 'unfair financial burden borne disproportionately by the next generation'.

Despite the tough stance from the Government, Age UK has urged MPs to continue to fight for the 'fairer option'.

"Age UK will actively explore all options to stop the Government's unfair and discriminatory proposed changes to women's state pension age," said Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK.

"There is plenty of time for MPs to make a small change to the Pensions Bill, which will make a huge difference to the 330,000 women who will be worse affected by the plans.

"If the Government returns to the coalition pledge of not starting to raise women's state pension age to 66 until 2020, they will still make savings of £20 billion compared to current legislation.

"We urge MPs to support this 'fairer' option and ensure that the changes they are introducing don't end up punishing thousands of hard-working women."

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