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Women's state pension age: Parliament debate - add your views?

113 replies

RowanMumsnet · 21/01/2016 14:39

Hello all

Parliament's Petitions Committee has been in touch - having seen our webchat with Mhairi Black about women's state pension ages - to ask whether MNers would like to have some input into a Westminster Hall debate about the issue.

This debate is as a result of a petition calling for the government to 'Make fair transitional state pension arrangements for 1950s women' getting the required number of signatures for a Parliament debate.

The Committee is after MNers' thoughts on the following questions; you can see links to the first Commons debate here (video) and here (transcript).

What were the most important points in the first debate for you? What do you think should have been covered that was not?

What points do you think a second debate should focus on?

What questions would you ask the Minister following their response to the debate?

Your thoughts will be fed back to MPs taking part in the Westminster Hall debate.


OP posts:
FadedRed · 21/01/2016 18:56

I am one of the group that lost twice, and only found out from looking at the .gov website that my pension age had been raised a second time.
I had planned to work into my early sixties then was made redundant at 58, again at short notice due to government changes.
I think if these changes had affected men, they would not have been allowed to happen at such short with such an enormous impact, but because this was a 'small' number of women, informationwas purposely kept low key and personally I feel like the government has reneged on the long time promise that if we worked, we would get a pension. I have lost five years of state pension at at time when jobs are hard to come by, and my meagre savings get little or no interest. Swindled.

Laska5772 · 21/01/2016 19:57

I'm 58 now born 1957 , so I went from 60 to 65 in one foul swoop and then now to 66,
I agree if men had suddenly had 6 years put on their pension age , there would have been a massive outcry ( but of course it wouldnt have happenned .)

One thing i do think is terrible is that its so much harder for youngsters to get into work now, and the more of us who are forced to stay in work for longer, the harder it is for them to get a toe-hold into work .

I work in the local government sector anyway , so we are all being drastically cut by this government (i am facing redundancy at the moment and reckon ill find it really hard to get work again at my age, but have 8 more years before i can access state pension ) , but what is really striking is that younger people are just not being taken on and trained to do our jobs in the same way we were . (unless you count being on a so-called apprenticeship at £2.30 and hour) . Sorry ,different thing, but related I believe . the longer we 'oldies are foced to work , the less jobs for the young ones..

KitKatCustard · 21/01/2016 20:53

I am in agreement with both the above posts. I'm 58 and, of course, at the beginning of my working life ( delayed while bringing up three children) I planned to retire at 60 and set up a rather meagre, but as much as I could afford, personal pension. It was intended to supplement my state pension, payable at age 60.
My pension age was raised, first to 65 and then to 66 with little warning, and certainly not giving me the time to replace the thousands of pounds this change has taken from me.
I was made redundant last year with little prospect at my age of replacing that job. I currently work part time for a fraction of my previous salary with another 8 years to go of this poverty.
I agree that this issue has been very poorly handled, would not have been applied to men in the same way men's pension age has not been raised by anywhere near the same percentage in such a short time frame and that the government has a responsibility to correct this anomaly.

80sMum · 21/01/2016 20:58

I am 58. My friend, who is 7.5 years older than me, received her state pension and a bus pass in the summer of 2010, shortly after her 60th birthday. I will not receive mine until my 66th birthday, at the the beginning of 2024, almost 14 years after my friend. An extra 6 years is a very long time to wait.

janethegirl2 · 21/01/2016 21:21

I'm 57, nearly 58 and have to work to 66 before I get a pension. Not at all happy about the changes

growingbytheday · 21/01/2016 21:43

I am 62. I have worked since I left school at 15, mostly low paid work until I managed to get some qualifications and found work in local government. I worked my way up and reached N8 (around £34K) but over the past three years my hours have been reduced, my pay/job down graded and I am now about to become redundant. This will have a huge impact on my redundancy package. Unfortunately, I started on a temporary contract in my 40's, this was extended a number of times over the next 7 years until I was made permanent. By then I was already in my 50's and as I was not eligible to join the pension scheme as a temp it did not seem worth starting then
as I was expecting to retire at 60. Out of the blue I was told I would not retire until I was 65 then 66.
I kept faith and paid full contributions my entire working life. I now feel the government has reneged on the long time promise that if we worked, we would get a pension. I have already lost three years of state pension and face the loss of another three. I am terrified I will not get another job at my age, I have no reserves put by. I am told I can retrain.
My world and every little thing I looked forward to has gone.
Meanwhile civil servants have 10 years grace to "Provide transitional protection for those closest to retirement" and for MP's and Judges "This protection strives to be fair to members who are close to their expected retirement age and are less able to change their plans than younger members". My heart bleeds for them.

Laska5772 · 21/01/2016 21:54

Its terrible growing I do have an LGPS pension, but it wil be pitiful as even though I have worked full time for over 20 years in the sector and have higher level qualifications , I have never earned even the national average wage ..

Government cuts for the public sector are only going to increase and so are redundancies, and this is a sector where more women are employed than men. Also the vast majority of women employees in the so-called 'golden' public sector pensions schemes only retire on about £3k anyway ..

Shocking what you have written about civil service MPs and judges transisiton time . but Dont Worry, dont you know that "We are all in this together" //hmm (I think not)

Laska5772 · 21/01/2016 21:56

Hmm even

Allofaflumble · 21/01/2016 22:24

Born 1955 and so reached 60 last year. I work a physical job and am self employed. Now have to keep going for another 6 years! I pray for my health to continue that I can just support myself.

Mostly I am terrified they will raise it again!

My friend says she can't imagine still doing hair dressing at 66.

I was so looking forward to maybe cutting down to three days a week but no. I wish they had raised the age in yearly stages but that would have been too fair! Upsetting.

bookbook · 21/01/2016 22:49

snap Allo - born 1955 - had two part - time jobs running together - one paid, one self employed for 30 years working, 6 days a week . I asked for my pension forecast when I was 50 - it came back with - you will get a full pension at 60. So DH and I did all the planning they said to do.
I was offered voluntary redundancy (hah!) from my paid job at 58, in the meantime I had 2 letters - 1 to say pension age is 63, then another saying 66. I had a small business, which I loved but was very physical and hard work ,and due to health issues, I had to retire from that in September - at 60. I have had to raid my personal pension to cover the loss of earnings , and reconsider our lives for the next 6 years.
I am steaming mad - I have worked since I was 18, and saved as they suggested. And now, we don't even get more than a spit in the eye interest on what we have saved either. But I am in a better situation than many , sadly

Allofaflumble · 21/01/2016 22:53

Hopefully having your husband helps a bit?

I am facing this next stage alone (unlucky in love) so some days I get very worried imagining all sorts!

Wouldn't it be fab if they went back on it? After all they did it with tax credits. I can dream. Smile

80sMum · 21/01/2016 23:11

Allo that will never happen I'm afraid. There is simply not enough money available. State pension was never intended to be drawn for more than 10 years or so. The nation simply cannot afford to pay out for 20 or 30 years.

The problem is the way in which the pensions are funded. If it was a private company, the DWP would be prosecuted for operating an illegal ponzi scheme!

State pensions should be based on an actual pot of money that has been built up over a lifetime, but which (unlike a private pension) the government underwrites and guarantees, so savers are not at the mercy of the stock market.

I have lost 10% of my pension fund this week alone,due to global markets plummeting.

bookbook · 21/01/2016 23:14

Having DH is enormously helpful, but he had to retire early due to a chronic health problem some years ago.
Oh, it must be horrible facing all these problems by yourself, its really useful to have someone to share/halve the worry

Yoksha · 21/01/2016 23:51

I'll be 59 in March. Not getting state pension till 66. I've never had any notification to say it was changed to 66. I keep all official correspondences in my filing cabinet, so definately never received anything. No matter, I've been following progress, so have not been in ignorance. I signed the petition to have this debate, and received a really snotty email detailing what I already knew, and that I was informed in writing of the changes.

Not impressed at all. I've worked since I was 14. I know I didn't pay NI contributions at that age. I took time off to bring up children. Returned to work for slightly more than minimum wage. Then had to leave work to help care for my mum for 7yrs. who developed alzheimers. Despite continually being told there's lots of jobs out there, at my age I think I'll never be employed again.

AvaCrowder · 22/01/2016 00:12

This really angers me. My mum has worked for god knows how long. She has had her retirement age change twice. How is that fair?

storynanny · 22/01/2016 00:36

Affects me too, I am 60 in September. How can I still work with 4-7 year olds for another 6 years at the same level of physical activity as I have done since 1978?

turdfairynomore · 22/01/2016 00:47

I'm right there with ygou storynanny! I teach P1 and have done for nearly 30 years. So I'm either expected to teach 4 year olds until I'm 67 (mother nature makes sure that you don't have one of your own by that stage...but it is OK by the government that I'll have 30+!!!) Or else I'll need to move from the only key stage that I've ever known, that I adore and that I'm good at fact I'm apparently "outstanding"!!!

Potatoface2 · 22/01/2016 01:20

im 54 now.....and am expected to nurse until im 66....i already have a bad knee, crumbling vertabrae of my neck and lower back, and am putting off the operation i need on my foot because i cant afford the three months off to recover...patients twice my size think i 'have the training to lift them'...god knows how i will do it at 66!

Penfold007 · 22/01/2016 04:23

Just to cheer up those working in local government, civil service, NHS, teaching, police, fire brigade etc even further. Do you realise that as you paid into your occupational pension and paid reduced SERPS you won't qualify for the full basic pension? The reduction is a significant one.

FishWithABicycle · 22/01/2016 05:33

I'm in my early 40s and I am working on the assumption that state pension age will be more than 75 by the time I get there. I am generally supportive of the changes as it seems crazy to expect 20-30 years of being supported by younger taxpayers after only 42 years of non-retired adulthood.

I was well aware of the changes in law that gave due warning that this was coming but I can see that there might be many people who don't pay much attention to the news so there ought to have been a properly managed publicity and mailing campaign. There should be some additional support for people affected by this especially helping people with demanding physical jobs to transition to something more manageable for their last few years of working.

To avoid the same hoohar coming around again, there should be a defined formula that says that state pension retirement age will be pegged as a specific percentage of the current average life expectancy as calculated when you reach 50, so that you get plenty of warning for what your state pension age will be but future variations can be encoded into law now that will still work whatever happens with future improvements to long term health and life expectancy.

Parker231 · 22/01/2016 06:23

I knew about the changes in the retirement as I watch a lot of news programmers and agree that men and women should have the same retirement age for their state pensions. I always thought it was wrong that women received theirs at 60 but men had to wait until 65. However I think the bigger issue is ensuring that people can physically and mentally continue working later into their 60's. Thankfully I've a good pension with my work which should enable me to still retire at 60.

TamzinGrey · 22/01/2016 06:52

I have no problem with the state pension age being the same for men and women, but the botched way in which this is being implemented is appalling, and significantly disadvantages women.

I was given just 18 months notice of a 6 year increase to my pension age.
DH received 10 years notice of a 1 year increase to his pension age.
How is this fair?

ApplesinmyPocket · 22/01/2016 06:56

I feel shafted by this. Born 1957. There must be many women like me who raised children and also were the family carer - I looked after DH's two elderly parents, who came to live with us for that reason, for 10 years, through their various strokes, dementia, and incontinence. It was a hell of a time to be honest but we got through it. Then my own mother became in need of care and came to live with us.

It didn't seem to matter about the years I missed paying NI, since at the time a wife got credit by for her husband's contributions.

Now I'm facing a very reduced pension because not only am I short of contributions but they have kept putting the age up so the gap has got wider still, and I'm sure many women of the era will be in the same boat, having been designated the obvious ideal choice as the family carer for elderly relatives.

If we had known rather than this being handed down as a retrospective change, then we could have done things differently.

Trufflethewuffle · 22/01/2016 07:08

It occurred to me that instead of talking about a 6 year change we should actually be talking about 12 years. Because we will get our pensions 6 years later AND pay 6 years more contributions.

Pistachiocray · 22/01/2016 07:39

Allo that will never happen I'm afraid. There is simply not enough money available. State pension was never intended to be drawn for more than 10 years or so. The nation simply cannot afford to pay out for 20 or 30 years.

The problem is the way in which the pensions are funded. If it was a private company, the DWP would be prosecuted for operating an illegal ponzi scheme!

I totally agree. The state pension was brought in to be claimed for a few years for people that couldn't work anymore and had had a hard life. We are currently having a generation that are taking out far more than they ever paid in, sadly this will have huge knock on affects and probably affect the younger generation the most.

It should of been linked with life expectancy decades ago, but pollutions are croud pleasers and only think in the short term.

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