The Government is coming under increasing pressure to delay raising the state pension age for women.
The pensions bill returns to the House of Commons today for its second reading after the Government narrowly avoiding defeat in the Lords last week.
The Financial Times reports Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is coming under pressure to introduce amendments to help women approaching retirement who will be asked to wait another two years before being able to claim their pensions. The paper quotes Duncan Smith as saying: “I understand there are issues and problems and I’ll constantly look at ways to see whether there’s a way of doing [something about] that. The key principle to retain is that there’s a reason why we’re trying to get [to the age of] 66 by 2020.”
More than 180 MPs, including 26 coalition MPs, have signed an early day motion against the increase.
The Government plans to raise the state pension age for women from 60 to 65 in 2018, two years earlier than Labour planned, before equalising the pension ages for men and women at 66 in 2020.
Saga director general Ros Altmann has put forward an alternative plan that would see the state pension age increase more rapidly from 2020 onwards.
She says: “The current plans are unfair and may, indeed, be illegal in public law terms, since they clearly do not give women adequate notice of the large changes in pension age that they face. A legal challenge to the fairness of these proposals is likely to be difficult for Government to defend and could end up costing the taxpayer significant sums in court fees and compensation for those affected. Let’s adopt a more practical approach now, before it’s too late.”