MPs vote ‘NO’ to helping 2.6 million women transition into retirement as pension debate continues

Yesterday (24th February 2016) the Government voted ‘No’ to helping the millions of women hit by the changes in the state pension scheme.

Pension Debate FeatureChanges to the state pension were announced in 1995, in order to bring the qualifying age for women in line with that for men by 2020. The 2011 Pensions Act accelerated the increase from 60 to 65, setting women’s retirement age at 65 by 2018 and 66 by October 2020.

During a House of Commons debate yesterday 289 MPs voted against changing the arrangements made in 1995 to give 2.6 million women an easier transition into retirement.

The debate followed a long-running campaign by Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), a group that is campaigning against unfair changes to the State Pension Age imposed on women born in the 1950s, arguing that they were not adequately informed that they would have to wait years longer than they expected for their state pensions.

As of last night, more than 156,000 people had signed a WASPI petition calling for fair transitional arrangements for those affected.

During the debate Shadow Pensions minister, Angela Rayner, urged MPs to back the motion and SNP MP Mhairi Black, said: “Pensions are a right not a benefit. It’s an issue of respect.”

Women’s Equality Party (WE) said the ‘No’ vote is yet another failure to listen to the needs of British women and do the right thing.

“We are appalled that the women who have been unfairly penalised by these arrangements continue to be disregarded,” said Sophie Walker, leader of the WE “Maintaining the status quo means that millions of women will live out their retirement in poverty because of insufficient pension provision.”

“The Women’s Equality Party is the only party calling for a new single rate of pension tax relief at 25 percent, with the aim of providing a substantial boost to the pension savings of all low earners, most of whom are women,” Walker added.

Women’s average total retirement income is £14,300 a year compared with £19,100 for men.

“We fully support the campaign by Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) to reverse government plans to force pension arrangements onto women without allowing them sufficient time to plan their retirement.”

“WE will continue to work with the women behind WASPI’s campaign to find alternative plans which are both fair and economically viable.”

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2 Responses
  1. lynne

    We definitley need fair transitional arrangements . What would be fair would be for men and women to recieve state pension at 62 years and 6 months.That way womens will have increased by two and a half years and mens will have decreased by two and a half years, resulting in equality and fairness for both sexes, there problem solved without a parliament debate.

  2. pauline

    Women in their late fifties are an easy group to target in what is essentially an austerity move by the Tories.Maybe they thought this cohort would not have the mental or physical strength to fight this.There was talk that this could be illegal due to the fact that women were not individually informed way back in 1995 and the goalposts have changed several times since then. Why, oh why, were women not informed of the magnitude of these changes. W,A.S.P.I. women need a good hearted top lawyer to scrutinize the legality of this whole thing if they have not already done so. I accept that there has to be a cut off point somewhere in the equalization of the pension age for men and women but it is totally unfair that this cohort of women should bear the brunt of it all.
    Come on people, join W.A.S.P.I.and fight against this miscarriage of justice. Look at all the fat cat bankers with their monstrous bonuses, greedy,corrupt energy companies, ripping people off. This was also meant to happen gradually, over many years. How dare the powers that be have the temerity to keep moving the goalposts. Target those tax evaders who have their money hidden away in rich tax havens.Join W.A.S.P.I..Fight this injustice, fight it now,fight it without surrender.