As you may be aware the last 6 months have been eventful and at times difficult for the campaign to combat State Pension Inequality. The Conservative Government has said that it will be not be revisiting the State Pension Age arrangements for women born in the 1950s. However, work continues in Westminster to push the Conservative Ministers to take action on this issue.
In April the All Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality produced the findings from its consultation on Transitional Arrangements for 1950s-born women affected by state pension changes. A copy of the report can be found here: http://www.waspi-appg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Consultation_final-1.pdf
Following the publication of the findings the APPG announced what proposals they will be including in the Pensions (Review of Women’s Arrangements) (No. 2) Bill scheduled in Parliament for the 26th October 2018.
The Private Members Bill outlines proposals to produce cost analysis for three potential options for tackling State Pension Inequality for Women.
The first option is making a non-means-tested pension credit available to all women aged 63 and over. This would be from the day it is approved until the date they reach state pension age which will not be backdated. Currently the qualifying age for pension credit minimum guarantee is aligned to women’s state pension age at 65.
The second solution is to equalise women’s pensions so that everyone will receive a full state pension (£159 per week). This would not be measured against the amount of National Insurance contributions that an individual has accrued.
The third option would be to extend the pension credit for those women who have been worst affected. This would include the women who have no other income or private pension available.
Unfortunately, the Bill is currently 30th on the schedule for the 26th October 2018. This means that the Bill will not be debated on that day. I hope it will be rescheduled for another Friday date.
My Labour colleagues and I will continue follow developments on this and continue to press the Government to put in place the necessary transitional protections to end this injustice.