[Mr. Roger Gale in the Chair] — Pensioner Poverty

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:00 am on 23rd February 2010.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 10:00 am, 23rd February 2010

My hon. Friend's analysis of the gender difference in access to pensions is spot on. I hope he acknowledges that in April there will be an historic change in access to the basic state pension. We are reducing the required number of national insurance contribution years from 39 for women and 44 for men to 30 for everybody. At a stroke, that will mean that 75 per cent. of women qualify by their own right. By the end of the decade, that will eliminate the gap in the access to the basic state pension between men and women.