Half a million women, including more than 3,500 in my constituency, are asking the Government why they have to wait up to six years longer for their state pension. During their working lives, they paid national insurance contributions expecting to get their pension at the age of 60, an age fixed in 1940 and five years below that for men.
In 1995, the Conservative Government set out a timetable to equalise the pension age for men and women at 65. They fixed a start date 15 years ahead—April 2010—and phased in the changes slowly, so that only from April 2020 would women born in April 1955 or later not get their state pension at 65. The pending changes were largely ignored except for a small section in the financial section of a broadsheet. The women affected, who were then aged 45, were not warned by the Department of Social Security.