Labour to offer early state pension access for WASPI women

Labour to offer early state pension access for WASPI women
We are calling on the Government to immediately allow those affected by state pension age equalisation the chance to retire two years earlier at the age of 64.

Labour shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams is set to announce plans for women born in the 1950s to access a reduced state pension at the age of 64.

The WASPI - Women Against State Pension Inequality - campaign centres around the pension age of women born between 1954 and 1960, who were affected by the 1995 Pensions Act which increased women's State pension age from 60 to 66, in line with men.

At the Labour party conference today, Abrahams will say: “Today Labour announces new proposals to end the historic injustice faced by 1950s born women, as promised in our manifesto ‘for the many, not for the few’.


“We are calling on the Government to immediately allow those affected by state pension age equalisation the chance to retire two years earlier at the age of 64.

“This will ensure that those who have suffered the consequences of this Government’s chaotic mismanagement of the state pension age have the security they need. We will continue to work with these women to get justice.”

The proposal is described as ‘cost neutral in the long run’, but Royal London director of policy and former pensions minister, Steve Webb, has warned that the proposal faces serious practical problems.

He said: "Writing new primary legislation, getting it through Parliament, and implementing the change on the ground is likely to take at least two years. If this legislation completed its passage through Parliament during the 2018/19 session, it would take at least another year to change government computer systems and to communicate effectively to all those who might be affected. By the time the new law could be implemented, most of the women who had the shortest notice of state pension age changes would already be drawing a state pension.

"Under equalities legislation it is unlikely that this new option could be made available only to women. In addition, there are serious practical problems with allowing people to opt for an early pension which is permanently paid at a lower level than the full state pension. For example, if the scheme is to be cost neutral, they would not be allowed to claim pension credit or other benefits to top up their low income. But if they could not do so then they could be living permanently below the poverty line throughout their retirement."

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