State Retirement Pensions: Females

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 25th June 2019.

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Photo of Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi Labour, Slough

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps the Government is taking to support women who have needed to stay in the workforce for longer because of changes to the state pension age.

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

The number of older women in employment is at a record high. There are now 4.9 million women aged 50 and over in the workforce compared to 4.2 million five years ago.

We will spend £55 billion [£55.4bn] this year (2019/20) on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions. This is around 2.5% of GDP, and over 6% of government spending, and as a share of GDP, the UK’s public spending is second highest in the G7, bar Germany [OECD 2015 data].

To support women to remain and return to the labour market, the Government has removed the Default Retirement Age meaning most people can choose when to retire, and extended the right to request flexible working to all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer.

We have appointed a Business Champion for Older Workers to engage and influence employers both strategically and in terms of practical advice.

In February 2017, the UK Government published “Fuller Working Lives: a partnership approach” to set out the role employers, individuals and Government can play in supporting fuller working lives.

Through the National Retraining Partnership, a strategic partnership between Government, the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress, Government is developing the National Retraining Scheme. The National Retraining Scheme will help prepare adults for the future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation, and help them retrain into better jobs.

And in February this year, DWP launched an online web page which brings together money, job and health elements of the mid-life MOT.

To support employers, Business in The Community has also created MOT guides that support businesses.

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