State Pension Age Equalisation: Financial Support for Women

Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons on 9th March 2020.

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Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Public Health)

What plans she has to provide financial support to women affected by the equalisation of the state pension age.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Changes to state pension age were made by successive Governments from 1995, including the Labour Government from 1997 to 2010, and addressed the long-standing inequality in pension age. This includes the Pensions Act 2007, which I believe the hon. Lady supported. Women continue to have the same eligibility for support from the welfare system as men with the same date of birth, and this country presently pays more in welfare support than ever before.

Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Public Health)

Approximately 6,100 of my constituents have been affected by the equalisation of the state pension age, and many have told me of the financial hardship that they and their families are suffering because of the change and their inability to work any longer. Last week, there was another lobby of Parliament that I, together with lots of people who will be in the House today, attended—it was packed. Another one is coming up soon. These women stressed to me last week that they are not going away and are not going to give up, so what is the Minister going to do to give some justice to those amazing women?

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The hon. Lady will be aware that full restitution would cost something in the region of £215 billion and that a case was before the courts last year: on all grounds, these ladies lost their case. Clearly, that matter is subject to appeal, but the case was lost in respect of every ground, including notice.