William Eichler 20 January 2017

Sandwell backs ‘fairer’ pension motion for women born in the 1950s

Sandwell councillors have backed a motion calling for a fairer deal for women born in the 1950s who have been affected by an increase in the state pension age.

The motion called upon the Government to make ‘fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born on or after 6 April 1951’ to compensate for losses in pension income.

Under the Pensions Acts passed in 1995 and 2011, the retirement age of women was raised in order to bring it closer to that of men with the aim of equalising it. By October 2020, it will be 66 for both genders.

The council motion accepted the retirement age of men and women should be the same, but they argued 18,000 women in Sandwell would have ‘significant pension changes imposed on them’.

‘Some women had only two years notice of a six-year increase to their state pension age,’ said the council’s deputy leader Syeda Khatun.

‘Many Sandwell women born in the 1950s are living in hardship. Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences.’

‘Many of these women are already out of the labour market, caring for elderly relatives, providing childcare for grandchildren, or suffer discrimination in the workplace and so struggle to find employment,’ Cllr Khatun continued.

‘Women born in this decade are suffering financially and now face the loss of up to £40,000 in pension income.

‘These women have worked hard, raised families and paid their tax and national insurance with the expectation that they would be financially secure when reaching 60.’

‘The council calls upon the Government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women born on or after 6 April 1951, so that women do not live in hardship due to pension changes they were not told about until it was too late to make alternative arrangements,’ she added.

Representatives from the campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) joined Sandwell's full council meeting to hear the motion put forward.

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