Frank Field MP Writes To Pensions Minister Regarding Waspi Women

5 December 2018

Frank Field MP Writes To Pensions Minister The chair of the Work and Pensions Committee Frank Field, who now sits as an independent Labour MP has written to the pensions minister Guy Opperman to ask what action he is taking regarding women who have been affected by changes to the state pension age.

In his letter, Mr Field states analysis by the House of Commons Library reveals about 240,000 women affected by both the 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts have now reached state pension age and the number is growing fast.

"There are around 300,000 in the most affected cohort—born between 6 December 1953 and 5 October 1954 whose wait for state pension age was extended by 18 months—who will begin to reach state pension age from March 2019."

"From then, approximately 30,000 women will move over that threshold every two months. If anything is to be done to mitigate the consequences of changes to the state pension age for affected women, it surely must be before March next year".

The campaign group, Waspi (Women Against State Pension Inequality) have been campaigning for many years about the issue and claim that while the 1995 Pension Act included the plan to raise women's state pension age to 65, it did so in an unfair way with little or no warning. They also claim that the 2011 Pension Act resulted in the changes being made faster than promised, leaving women with little time to make alternative plans.

Mr Field has asked the pensions minister to confirm whether the Department of Work and Pensions are working on any plan the mitigate the changes in state pension age for women as well as considering whether women could draw their state pension early, at an actuarially neutral rate. This was recommended by the Work and Pension Committee in 2016.

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