The UK’s state pension age for women has risen to 65 to match men for the first time. The former pensions minister Ros Altmann said: “The state pension age may be equalising but there is no pensions equality for women.”
The accelerated timetable for equalising then raising the state pension age has hit women especially hard, according to the campaign group WASPI (Women against state pension inequality), with about 3.8 million women born in the 1950s forced to wait up to an extra six years to receive a state pension.
WASPI said it had “always supported” the equalisation of the state pension age, but “the fact that men and women are now equal in the age they will retire makes little or no difference to the problems that women born in the 1950s face as they approach retirement”.
Lower wages and broken employment periods, due to women having career breaks for children, may result in women failing to build a full national insurance record, mean they receive lower state pensions than men. In November 2017, the average weekly amount of state pension received by women, at £126.45 per week, was 82% of that received by men (£153.99).
Women in their 60s also have a fraction of the pension savings that men have. According to a report by the Chartered Insurance Institute last week, the average 65-year-old woman has £35,800 in her pension, compared with £179,000 for the average 65-year-old man.
In protests outside parliament last month, WASPI said a lack of sufficient information about the rise meant many women did not find out about it until they reached 60, leaving them with no time to make alternative plans further stating; “Clearly, equalisation is not simply just about the age you reach retirement, but also about your ability to accrue a full state pension entitlement, and generate a private pension to have any hope of security in retirement.”
*Main image courtesy of The Week UK*
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