Single-tier State Pension

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st July 2016.

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Photo of Gavin Newlands Gavin Newlands Scottish National Party, Paisley and Renfrewshire North 12:00 am, 21st July 2016

What assessment the Government have made of the effect of the single-tier state pension on gender equality.

Photo of Margaret Ferrier Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office)

What assessment the Government have made of the effect of the single-tier state pension on gender equality.

Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun

What assessment the Government have made of the effect of the single-tier state pension on gender equality.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

We have reformed the complicated pension system to introduce a simpler state pension. Together with automatic enrolment, the triple lock, the protection of pensioner benefits and new pension freedoms, that will ensure that pensioners, both women and men, have greater protection, security and choice in retirement.

G

"that will ensure that pensioners, both women and men, have greater protection, security and choice in retirement." But not ALL pensioners as you choose to ignore the Frozen few (4%) which I...

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Photo of Gavin Newlands Gavin Newlands Scottish National Party, Paisley and Renfrewshire North

I thank the Minister for that answer and welcome her to her place.

The new state pension will mean 350,000 women born between 1951 and 1953 retire on the old system, just before the new proposals come into force, whereas a man born on the same day will retire slightly later but receive a pension under the new arrangements. Does she agree that a pensions commission must urgently be established to end such inequalities?

G

"Does she agree that a pensions commission must urgently be established to end such inequalities?" Gavin Newlands, it would be nice to think that this would happen but the inequality of the Frozen pension has been ignored for decades so there is little chance that this...

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his welcome.

Some £1.1 billion was committed at the time of the Pensions Act 2011 to reduce the maximum delay that anyone would experience in claiming their state pension. As a result of the Government’s triple lock, since April 2011 the basic state pension has risen by £570 a year. The Government’s position on this policy is very clear.

G

The cost of granting equality to the Frozen pensioners is approx £580 million ! That is half of the cost you have quoted above that was committed in 2011 for WASPI. It must be remembered that each frozen pensioner , by virtue of them not being...

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Photo of Margaret Ferrier Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office)

The current review of the state pension age by John Cridland is critical to ensuring that the existing inequalities in the current pension system do not plague future retirees. Does the Minister agree that discrepancies in life expectancy, including among some of the poorest women in society and across the UK regions, must be closely examined to prevent gender inequalities?

G

"The current review of the state pension age by John Cridland is critical to ensuring that the existing inequalities in the current pension system do not plague future retirees." You mean like the current Frozen pension policy does...

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I absolutely agree that it is important to prevent gender inequalities, but equally we have to be realistic and acknowledge that, across the country, people are living longer. If we want to carry on with a sustainable and affordable pension system we must equalise the state pension age for both men and women.

G

So what part of the Frozen Pension policy is under the wing of DWP - All of the lies and deceit that is spewed out from your dept to continue this discrimination and theft does not look good...

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun

Forget the triple lock and the other measures to protect pensions that the Minister has just promoted; the simple fact is that according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies in future 14% of women will receive a lower income at state pension age than they would have under the current system. What discussions is the Minister having with colleagues from the Department for Work and Pensions to try to prevent that?

G

Why all of the fuss about the 14% who will receive a lower income and disregard the 4% of Frozen pensioners who are denied their rightful pension uprating with some getting a pittance which never increases for life because of government legalised fraud. ...

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The new state pension is much more generous for many women. More than 3 million women stand to gain £550 a year by 2030 as a result of the changes.

G

But not at all generous to the Frozen pensioners many of them being women of course. Have you...

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs

May I take this opportunity to welcome the Minister to her place? As a fellow feminist, I am sure she will agree that we are talking about our mothers’ generation, who broke down the barriers on equal pay. What message does it send to their daughters, a generation burdened with huge amounts of student debt, when their mothers have been short-changed by the lack of transitional arrangements for their state pension? What incentive is there for younger women to trust the Government when it comes to saving for their future?

G

Regrettably you cannot trust the government to grant equality to pensioners whether WASPI or Frozen pensioners.
The future of many Frozen pensioners, men and women, has already ended in poverty for some thanks to successive governments condoning discrimination which is applied mainly to the Commonwealth.

Submitted by George Morley

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I thank the hon. Lady for her welcome.

What we have seen from the reforms that the Government have made is that women of her age and my age are doing more now to save for their future than ever before. It is really important to reflect that some of the previous arrangements dated back to the 1940s. The world has moved on an incredible amount since that time and, I would argue, absolutely for the better.

G

"The world has moved on an incredible amount since that time and, I would argue, absolutely for the better." But not for the minority still denied justice and equality now imposed by section 20 of the Pensions Act to continue in the future to show the world that...

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