Women affected by SPA equalisation ‘grotesquely disadvantaged’ – Field

Written by Adam Cadle

Women affected by the equalisation of the state pension age, and the lack of communication thereafter, have been left in a “grotesquely disadvantaged” situation, according to Work and Pensions Committee chair, Frank Field.

The committee is publishing a series of correspondence with the government and the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign today ahead of a Commons debate: “State pension equalisation for women born in the 1950’s”, led by Patricia Gibson MP.

Commenting on the correspondence, Field said: “Since the Committee published its report on this matter, I have received a couple of hundred letters from women who I believe have been put in a grotesquely disadvantaged position by the government.”

Earlier this month (6 November), state pension age equalisation came into force, following legislation to increase the female state pension age first signed in 1995 (The Pensions Act 1995), and accelerated in the Pensions Act 2011.

Field added: “All these letters [he has received] have conveyed the hardship and sense of injustice felt by affected women, a number of whom have said that they want to leave work now, even if that meant a slightly reduced pension.”

The state pension age for both men and women is now 65. However, the equalised state pension age is due to rise to 66 by October 2020.

Campaign groups, such as the Waspi, have maintained their complaint that the changes outlined in the 1995 were not sufficiently communicated to those affected.

Recent protests, such as during Philip Hammond’s budget speech, have fallen on deaf ears, and most campaign group’s efforts to influence the government have been unsuccessful.

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