Women who are set to hit state pension age from April 2016 may be entitled to less of a pension than they were originally expected.
The Coalition government introduced plans for a flat rate pension which was expected to give recipients around £148 a week. However, only a small number of pensioners will be eligible to claim the full pension in the first years of introduction.
In response to the Daily Mail’s freedom of information request, official data shows that in the first three years of the pension changes, out of 1.2 million people claiming only 80,000 women will receive the full amount.
The news has been described as a ‘double betrayal’ due also to the rise in women’s retirement age. Women are having to work for longer and are now receiving less money in return. Women due to retire between 2016 and 2018 will have worked for an extra five years, due to their pension age rising to 65.
Dot Gibson, from the National Pensioners Convention said, “This is a double betrayal. A generation of women has already seen their retirement age move further and further away…Now it has emerged that for many women the new state pension is not going to be the answer they thought it would be.”
The introduction of the flat rate pension was announced as a fairer way of calculating pensions. Previously, many women have not received a full basic state pension due to taking time out to care for children and family. The Coalition announced that the new rules would mean those who had 35 years of contributions would be eligible for the full pay out.
Despite these changes, many women will not receive the full amount as they will have still taken a considerable career break – and not reached the number of contributions needed. The current statistics are also slightly skewed as due to the rise in pension age meaning that there will be fewer women retiring in the next few years.