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‘Hold pension credit age for women’

Experts suggest the Government could hold back the age at which pension credit is payable as it seeks to help women worst affected by the state pension rise.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has refused to budge on the timetable that campaigners say will unfairly affect women in their mid-50s but has agreed to discuss transitional arrangements.

Presenting the Pensions Bill for its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday, he insisted the Government would stick to the current timetable, which will see the state pension age for women rise from 60 to 65 by 2018. The state pension age for men and women will then increase to 66 by 2020.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says: “The Government could hold the age at which pension credit is payable at 63 from 2016 and then allow it to snap back to 66 in 2020. That would target specific means-tested help at the number of women who face financial hardship as a result of their state pension age rising more rapidly between 2016 and 2020.”

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