MPs to take more evidence on early state pension access

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The Work and Pensions committee has called for more evidence to explore its proposal of early state pension access for women born in the 1950s.

The committee called on the Government to look into early access as an option for women affected by the rapid escalation of the state pension age put into place by legislation in 2011.

In particular, the committee suggested allowing early access in exchange for lower weekly payments for the duration of retirement.

Through launching the call for evidence, the committee now hopes to focus debate on this option as its preferred method of supporting female retirees.

It hopes to receive submissions looking at the short and long-term impacts of a scheme it hopes will be “actuarially neutral”.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of retirement policy Tom McPhail says: “This is a forthright move by the select committee, which seems determined not to let the Government off the hook on this contentious issue.

“After several parliamentary debates and repeated refusals by the DWP to countenance any changes to policy, the select committee is now set to explore in more detail a measure which could ameliorate the situation of the affected women, without costing the Government any money.”

The call for evidence comes in response to mounting pressure for the Government to improve transitional arrangements for women affected by the Pensions Act 2011. The Act accelerates the equalisation of men’s and women’s state pension ages, bringing forward the change to November 2018.

However, campaigners argue the move was poorly communicated and did not give women enough time to plan for retirement.