Women’s Equality Party calls for fair pensions for women ahead of this week’s House of Commons debate

The  Women’s Equality Party (WE) has called for a single rate of pension tax relief at 25% to boost savings for low earners, ahead of this week’s House of Commons debate on changes made to state pensions in 1995.

House of commons where the debate with the Women's Equality Party will be held.This Thursday MPs will discuss changes which were made to state pensions in 1995, which saw more than two million women affected. The announcement advised women, many less than two years away from retirement age, that they were required to work another 18 months before they could receive their state pension. To bring the state pension age in line with men it was announced that women’s retirement age will be increased from 60 to 65 by 2018 and 66 by October 2020.

The debate has been scheduled after a petition campaign by Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) gathered more than 100,000 signatures.

WE has noted that the forthcoming debate about womens’ pensions, who were born in the 1950s, is a window to discuss inequality for all British women.

We are concerned for the women who have been unfairly penalised by these arrangements,” said Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party (WE).

WE are also deeply concerned for the many millions of women who will live out their retirement in poverty because of insufficient pension provision.”

In March Prudential announced that women in the UK retire on £4,800 a year less than men, according to a report by the insurer.

The report found that women, on average, have an expected annual retirement income of £14,300 compared with £19,100 for men.

Prudential noted that women are more likely to carry out more caring responsibilities that keep them out of the workplace and force them to take part-time and lower paid jobs.

Walker added: “It is vital that we support those on low pay to make adequate provision for their retirement. 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.”

WE support WASPI’s campaign to slow the adoption of these pension arrangements, which are being forced onto women without allowing them sufficient time to plan their retirement,” Walker said. “WE are meeting the women behind WASPI’s campaign, and look forward to working with them to find alternative plans which are both fair and economically viable.”

While WE support the principle that men and women should be entitled to their pension at the same age, many women have suffered as a result of these too-swift changes to the law,” Walker said.

The Women’s Equality Party is also campaigning for better pay and childcare provision for women in low-income jobs, so that they avoid the risk of retirement poverty.

The Women’s Equality Party was founded by Sandi Toksvig and Catherine Mayer in March 2015, and launched its policies on 20 October.

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