Ros Altmann: ‘I have been silenced on pension issues’

Ros Altmann

Pensions minister Ros Altmann says she has been “silenced” by former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, particularly on the issue of women’s state pensions.

In a statement published over the weekend following Duncan Smith’s explosive resignation, Altmann argues his departure is more about his stated position for the UK to leave the European Union, rather than cuts to benefit payments.

She says: “From a personal perspective, for months I have been silenced by him and what I have said has been strictly controlled.”

Altmann says she has been forced to accept this is part of being in Government.

She adds: “I have found him exceptionally difficult to work for. It has been a hugely challenging time for me as he was preventing me from speaking to the public and has often been obstructive to my efforts to resolve important pension policy issues such as on women’s pensions.

“I am looking forward to working with new Secretary of State, Stephen Crabb.”

Before taking office, Altmann campaigned for a slower timetable in the acceleration of state pension ages.

She told Money Marketing last year there had been “misinformation” about the changes under the coalition government, which she claimed had failed to explain the reforms adequately to those affected.