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The nation is divided over the change to the state pension age for women

13th March 2016 Print

Research by has revealed almost half (46%) of Brits disagree with the change of State Pension Age for women, believing the government should stick to its original promise.  There are many instances in life where compared to men, women are treated differently and this was the case when it came to the State Pension Age . But this is now set to change, with the State Pension Age set to reach 65 for women by November 2018 and 66 by 2020.

Many women born on or after 6 April 1951, now face waiting longer than expected to draw their State Pension.  Changes to the law mean their State Pension Age is going up faster than many women had expected all of their working lives, and their hopes for retiring soon are now a distant dream.  has found one in 10 (9%), still believe men and women should have different retirement ages.  However, the main concern for many women is that they haven’t had the appropriate notifications about the changes and that they will see an unfair increase for many years before they can draw their State Pension. 

DWP figures show letters were sent to women when they were 58 or in some cases 59 to tell them their pension age of 60 had been delayed. On average they were given just one year and five months notice before they reached their expected state pension age of 60. Some had less than one year's notice; none had more than two.

One in four (25%) Brits do believe that the State Pension Age should be the same for men and women, and two fifths (45%) do actually agree with the governments change, stating it’s fair – more than a fifth (21%) agree that appropriate steps should be in place to make it a gentler transition for the women who were given short notice. 

Clare Mahood, from said: “Our research has found a real divide in the nation’s opinion on if they believe the rise in the State Pension Age for women is fair or not. But what is clear is that people do want to ensure women receive a fair, gentler transition into this change.”

And it’s the transition period which Women Against Stat Pension Inequality (WASPI) are campaigning for, to ensure the government make fair transitional arrangements for all women  born on or after the 6th April 1951, who they believe have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age.

Anne Keen, from WASPI, commented: “We are delighted in the interest that our campaign has received since its launch, highlighting the injustice served upon the women affected by the changes and the subsequent increase to the signatures to our petition.

“It’s great that are also listening to their communities and giving them a voice too. We are looking forward to meeting with the cross party group to discuss ways forward in relation to the government making fair transitional arrangements (non means tested)  for all of the women affected”.

Clare continued “We hope this change will act as a retirement wake up call for the nation. At retiresavvy we believe retirement is the start of an exciting new journey, not the end. We actively encourage everyone to be savvy when it comes to their retirement, to plan early for their future and be aware of all the facts. We want to urge everyone to start thinking about their retirement whatever there age.

“That’s why we have pulled together five questions that everyone should ask themselves for a better retirement.”

1. Do you know your State Pension Age?

Thousands of women born in the early 1950s face waiting up to six years longer than expected to draw their State Pension, which will rise to 66 for by 2020. The Government has an online calculator to help work out your State Pension Age.

2. How much State Pension are you entitled to?

If you reach the State Pension Age on or after 6 April, you’ll be eligible for the New State Pension. It will pay £155.65 a week if you have 35 years’ NICs or equivalent credits. To find out how much you can request a State Pension statement showing how much you are likely to get from the Future Pension Centre.

3. Can you fill any gaps in your State Pension entitlement?

Taking a break to raise children can affect your State Pension entitlement, which is based on the National Insurance Contributions (NICs) you’ve made over your lifetime.  NICs credits that count as qualifying years are available to those receiving certain benefits, including full-time parents who are claiming child benefit for children under the age of 12.

4. Have you lost track of any pensions?

The average 65-year old has had five or six jobs throughout their career and one in ten has lost track of at least one pension scheme. If you need to track down a lost pension, contact your past employers’ pension scheme trustees, or get in touch with the Government’s free Pension Tracing Service.

5. Can you take advantage of the pension freedoms?

If you have a defined contribution (DC) pension – sometimes called a money purchase scheme – you can access your pension pot from age 55. You can take 25% tax free. With the rest you can choose to buy an annuity, enter drawdown or take it as cash. Whatever you decide to do, there are tax implications to consider.