Government failed to communicate state pension age changes effectively says Steve McCabe MP

Steve McCabe MP and other members of the Work and Pensions Select Committee have concluded that the Government and previous governments failed to communicate state pension age changes effectively.

In a report published by the Work and Pensions Select Committee this week which reviewed written evidence on the way government communicated pension changes, the Committee found that the government did not communicate the changes effectively or in good time. As a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, Steve has been contacted by many women who will be affected by the pension changes who were unaware of the impact the changes would have on their financial planning.

Steve backed calls from thousands of women for the government to bring about proper transitional arrangements in Labour’s Opposition Day debate. A debate was also held in Westminster Hall at the beginning of February but the government confirmed that they would not be reviewing or changing their position on the matter.

The Committee have suggested that the present government look at the possibility of allowing these women to retire earlier for slightly reduced pensions, similar to the approach used in many defined benefit schemes.

Women born in the 1950’s had expected to retire at the age of 60. However, due to a lack of communication and prior notification to allow those affected sufficient time to plan, many women will lose out financially.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“I don’t think it’s right to just ignore the situation these women find themselves in. The Committee has offered the government a way out which isn’t perfect but it reflects the view of very many Members of Parliament that there is an injustice at the heart of this issue and some attempt must be made to address it. It is now obvious that successive governments could have done a lot better in communicating the changes.

“Far too many affected women were unaware of the equalisation of state pension age at 65, this has been too little too late for many women, especially given increases in the state pension age which have been accelerated at relatively short notice. It is evident from the government’s reaction that they are unwilling to listen to the many hard working women that are due to be affected by these changes from April 2016.”

To read the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s full report into the government’s handling of communicating the pension changes, please follow the link: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmselect/cmworpen/899/899.pdf

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