Charity Saga’s Director General Ros Altmann has said she supports the government’s move to raise retirement age for women since life expectancy has gone up. However, she believes that the government should be fair with the changes and give sufficient time to people to prepare for the proposed future amendment.
“Six years’ notice of up to a two-year delay in pension age clearly does not provide time to make alternative arrangements”, said Ms Altmann about the government’s current deadline.
“Saga has been inundated with letters and emails from women who are distraught and angry about the unfairness of the Coalition Government’s proposed changes to their state pension age. They have asked us to help explain to the government why these proposals are unfair”, she said explaining public anguish.
“These women cannot understand why they have been singled out to bear the brunt of long-term cost savings on state pensions. Saga does not understand this either”, she added.
Saga’s assertion comes after the government announced in October last that women’s retirement age will be brought at par with men’s at 65 years, effective 2018.
The proposed implementation of women’s retirement age in 2018 is two years early than previously proposed by the present government after it came to power in June last year. The government had then announced to equalise women’s retirement age with men’s by 2020 and raise it further to 66 years in 2026.
According to Ms Altmann, these women, who are in their late 50s are upset because they do not have sufficient time to make alternate arrangements for the thousands of pounds lost in state pensions due to the extension of retirement age.
Ms Altmann said she hopes her briefing will help MPs to respond to constituents and prepare them better to participate in debates on the forthcoming Pension Bill.
However, there are rumours that the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) may take a U-turn and return to the previously proposed 2020 deadline citing 2018 as too early. They may also propose an alternative plan.
A DWP spokesman refused to comment on the issue.