Women’s State Pension Age

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th October 2016.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons) 12:00 am, 27th October 2016

If the Government will take steps to provide further transitional support to women affected by the increase in the state pension age.

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

The Government will make no further changes in the pension age or provide financial redress in lieu of pension. A total of £1.1 billion has already been committed to lessen the impact of the changes on those who will be most affected, so that no one will experience a change of more than 18 months.

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

It is clear that the members of the Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign and their many supporters around the country think that the Government have not done enough. Will the Minister commit herself to publishing all assessments of the impact of the 2011 changes, and any analysis that has been undertaken of possible transitional arrangements at the time of the Pensions Act 2011 and in the period since then?

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

The Government have made available £1.1 billion for transitional arrangements because of these changes. This is about undoing an historical unfairness by equalising the state pension age, which both men and women should welcome.

Photo of Angela Crawley Angela Crawley Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities, Women and Children)

The Scottish National party commissioned independent research by Landman Economics that found the inequalities facing many of the WASPI women can be rectified if the UK Government implement the report’s recommendations for the sum of £8 billion, rather than the previously cited £30 billion. Will the Minister urge her Treasury colleagues to prioritise this issue ahead of the autumn statement?

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

A range of potential options have been proposed by a number of different campaigns, but nothing that is specifically aimed at those most disadvantaged by the state pension age increases, and none of them has proposed something significantly better or, indeed, affordable and at an acceptable cost to the taxpayer.