Labour also outlined its support for Waspi in its manifesto for the June election
Labour is to call on the Government to lower the retirement age for women born in the 1950’s, allowing them to retire aged 64 on a reduced state pension, rather than aged 66.
According to the Independent, in a speech at the Labour Party conference today, shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams will accuse the Government of “chaotic mismanagement” over the retirement age reforms.
Women who expected to be able to retire at 60 now have to work until age 66 before they receive a state pension. Many of those women are part of the Waspi campaign – Women Against State Pension Inequality.
In its manifesto for the June election, Labour said it was “exploring options for further transitional protections to ensure that all these women have security and dignity in older age”.
The Labour proposal announced by Abrahams is described as “cost neutral in the long run”. Labour says the change should be made immediately.
However, Royal London policy director Steve Webb has warned that the proposal faces serious practical problems.
Webb says: “Writing new primary legislation, getting it through parliament, and implementing the change on the ground is likely to take at least two years. By the time the new law could be implemented, most of the women who had the shortest notice of state pension age changes would already be drawing a state pension.”
He adds: “Under equalities legislation it is unlikely that this new option could be made available only to women. In addition, there are serious practical problems with allowing people to opt for an early pension which is permanently paid at a lower level than the full state pension.”