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Clause 1 — Equalisation of and increase in pensionable age for men and women

Part of Concessionary Bus Travel (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 18th October 2011.

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Photo of Gregg McClymont Gregg McClymont Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 5:15 pm, 18th October 2011

My hon. Friend is spot on. Caring is a very important issue in this context. A third of these women are already retired, in their late 50s, and are often caring for relatives. Of course, men have caring responsibilities too, but in significantly lower numbers than women.

These women also earn less, on average, than men. They have less chance of making up for the £7,800 in lost pension income that the 330,000 women waiting for 18 months are estimated to lose. If pension credit is added to that, some women are losing up to £11,000, and that is before taking into account the benefits that accrue at state pension age, such as the winter fuel allowance, free travel and so on. This is a serious financial loss to these women.