Government to soften the blow for female pensioners

Iain Duncan Smith, secretary of state for work and pensions, has agreed to soften the blow of plans to raise the female retirement age to 65 by 2018 and 66 by 2020.

The proposal was debated by MPs yesterday during a discussion of the Pensions Bill in the House of Commons.

Duncan Smith indicated that he may look at transitional arrangements, which could include measures to remunerate women who would have to wait for their pensions.

This concession follows criticism from Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs who have been critical of the change, which would see women wait up to two years longer than expected to claim their pensions.

Age UK’s report Not enough time, which was published 16 June, showed that one in five women, aged between 50 and 53 years old, expect to receive their state pension by 60, yet in reality they will have to wait to 65 under current rules and 66 if the proposals go ahead.

Malcolm McLean, consultant at Barnett Waddingham, said: “[Duncan Smith]’s undertaking that he will look at ways to help the position of those women currently in their fifties through transitional arrangements was welcomed but was vague in the extreme as to exactly how this will be achieved.”

Joanne Segars, chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), added: “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.”

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