Read this (and no, I'm not advocating that the state retirement age between the sexes should not be the same. What I am doing is trying to bring Joe and Josephine Public's attention to the government's proposals).
As far as I am concerned there is a degree of unfairness about how women in a certain age group are being treated.
Take a look.
If you are a woman (or know women) born between 1953 and 1955 then this link may be of particular interest.
Just what is it about politicians and their inability to give a straight answer to a straight question.
Having e-mailed Anne Marie Morris MP with the following question:-
"Here is an extract from Ros Altmann's article in Saga magazine:
"A woman born in April 1953 will be able to get her pension age age 62 years 11 months, but a woman born in April 1954 will have to wait until she is 66. This will be a loss of over £15,000 of pension income that women would have been relying on and they have no time to make that up now."
If that information is correct please can you tell me how it is fair?"
I did indeed receive a reply from Ms Morris in which she stated that she recognises "the frustrations of women nearing the pension age who have found out that state pension guidelines are changing" but then she totally ignored the question I'd asked. Mind you she did send me a photo copy of a letter she had received from the Pensions Minister concerning the new state pension proposals but as neither in her letter to me or his letter to her was the fairness issue (or lack of it to be more precise) addressed I couldn't really see the point of her sending it on to me.
So........... I've e-mailed her again and asked her the same question - again.
Click on this link to register your protest at these totally unfair proposals.
This issue of 1953/1954 born women and the age that they will now have to be before qualifying for their state pension was raised in the House of Commons yesterday.
The response of the (Lib Dem) Pensions' Minister was basically not to answer the questions being put to him about the unfairness of it for a specific group of women. His response was basically that:
1. The state pension age needs to go up and if he altered the 1953/1954 born women's qualification age then that would mean that another group of women would cry foul.
2. That as the new proposals mean that all women @2015 will qualify for a state pension then the proposals overall mean that women gain. (Presently many women don't qualify for a state pension as they have not paid enough NI contributions as they have not been in the workforce due to having been at home looking after kids).
3. The state pension @2015 will increase from approx £95 per week per single person to £140 per week per single person.
My thoughts? I don't doubt for one moment that there will be those who have been in the workforce all their lives and who have paid NI contributions for all that time who will say it is not fair that those who have not paid anything (eg many women who have stayed at home raising children) should get a pension. I would disagree with those people. Since when has been raising kids not been work? Since when has that not been a contribution to society? Okay it has not been paid work but it is, and was, work nontheless.
So, on the question of all women now qualifying for a state pension I agree. However, don't we presently have a system of pension credits whereby if someone only qualifies for the basic state pension of circa £95 per week that, via the pension credit system, that amount gets uplifted to £120 per week? That's not quite so far away from the new £140 is it? And what about the free tv licences, and bus travel, and winter fuel payments? Still with us for the time being but I suggest they get watched!
And from what I understand it is only those who reach state pension age during 2015 (don't know the exact date I'm afraid) who will qualify for the new amount. Those who are already of state pension age will stay on the pre 2015 pension rates, at least that's how I understand the situation.
Oh and finally, (well not really but if you've gotten this far you may now be getting tired of reading this) it seems to have slipped the Pensions' Minister attention that all those 1953/1954 born women are losing out even more than was orginally thought as now instead of losing out on approx £15,000 of pension (approx £5,000 state pension per year over 3 years) they will now be losing out on approx just under £22, 000 over three years (approx just over £7,000 per year).
REMEMBER - a woman born 5th April 1953 will qualify for her state pension aged 62 years and 11 months whilst a woman born but 12 months and one day later on 6th April 1954 will not qualify until she is 66 years old.
I am still waiting for someone to tell me how that is fair.