The government’s plans for a flat rate state pension will mean thousands of women won’t qualify
Women born before 6th April 1953 won’t get the flat rate state pension of £144 a week, under current plans.

Since the government announced its plans to introduce a flat rate pension (or ‘single tier’ pension, as they prefer to call it), I’ve had dozens of emails from women who are furious that they won’t qualify for it, despite the fact that men born on the same date will. Today (19th March 2013), the Pensions Minister said that the flat rate state pension would now be introduced on April 6th 2016, not 2017 as was the case under the original plans. But many women will still miss out.

Why women won’t get the flat rate pension
First things first – the government’s plans for a flat rate state pension are just at the planning stage. However, as things stand:

• The introduction date is planned to be in 2016. The flat rate state pension would be paid to women who reach state pension age on or after April 6th 2016 at the earliest.

SAVVY TIP: The way the flat rate state pension will work is that women (and men) who reach state pension age on the date it’s introduced, or afterwards, will be entitled to receive it. Women who reach state pension age before it’s introduced won’t qualify for it – even if they delay their retirement or put off claiming their state pension.

• Women who reach state pension age before then wouldn’t receive the flat rate state pension.

SAVVY TIP: Women born on or after 6th April 1953 will be entitled to the flat rate state pension in 2016, under the government’s current plans. However, men born from 6th April 1952 will be entitled to it. The reason is that women’s state pension age is rising from 60 to 65, and their state pension age will be 63 and three months by April 2016, not 65.

• Women who don’t qualify could lose around £38,000 in pension payments as a result. This assumes that they live for 20 years after receiving the state pension and that they would only have been entitled to the basic state pension under the current system. However, they gain over £9,000 because they receive their state pension almost two years earlier than men, so overall will be around £30,000 worse off. This doesn't take into account they pension they will lose as a result of the increases in state pension age from 60.

SAVVY TIP: Under its original plans, the government said it wanted to introduce the flat rate state pension in 2015. This was always only ever an aim and not a policy, but by moving the introductory date back, Malcolm McLean pensions consultant with Barnett Waddingham, says more women will lose out. "Had they gone with the original introductory rate of 2015, a lot of women would have qualified for the flat rate state pension who will now miss out on it."

Can this be challenged under equality legislation?
Unfortunately, the state pension is outside the scope of equality legislation. My understanding is that it would be difficult to bring a legal challenge on the grounds of discrimination.

Instead, I think the best approach is to raise the issue in parliament, via your local MP. You can find out details of your local MP on the Parliament website.

Why women born in the 1950s are disproportionately affected
Women born in the 1950s have already had two changes to their state pension, which will mean they get less money.

• The state pension age of women born after 5th April 1950 started to rise from 60 to 65 from April 2010. As I write this, the state pension age for women is around 61 and a half, and is gradually increasing. This was announced in the 1990s, but so badly publicised that many women didn’t realise their state pension age was rising until they neared retirement age.

• The second rise in the state pension age, from 65 to 66, will affect women born on or after April 6th 1953. These women will see their state pension age rise a second time and - because of the change announced on March 19th - will now qualify for the flat rate pension.

WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SAYS: I asked the Department for Work and Pensions for a response, and they gave me a statement from Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister: "Women born in the period between 1952 and 1953, will receive their state pension up to three years before a man born on the same day, which could be worth up to £16,750. People can be reassured that while [the] Single Tier [pension] is a different system, it is no more generous overall than the one it replaces."

SIGN THE PETITION: There seem to be a couple of e-petitions about the introduction of the flat rate state pension and what it means for women born between April 1952 and July 1953. Here's one petition which I'd encourage you to sign.

Calculate your state pension age
Use the Pensions Advisory Service state pension age calculator on SavvyWoman's Budgeting tools section.

Related articles:

Confused about the flat rate state pension? Read on!

Will you be affected by the government's plans to raise the state pension age to 66?

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Posted by marydravens@btinternet.com dated 2013-02-20 22:27:57
Surely the government will have to provide extra pension credit to bring the two amounts closer together? It would definitely be discrimination if this is not possible.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-02-21 09:15:12
Hi Mary, Thanks for your comment. I think the only way to get the government to address this to put as much pressure on the government as possible. At the moment they seem to think it's OK because women will be getting their state pensions earlier than men - but that completely ignores the fact that it's later than these women expected to get their state pension, and some will have been unaware of the change until very recently.
Posted by Jill Klee dated 2013-02-22 11:59:05
How can pension minister say single tier pension is no more generous than the one it replaces. As one of the 80,000 born between April 5th and July 6th 1953 my pension will be £1,200 p.a. lower.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-02-22 18:44:55
Hi Jill, Thanks for your comment. I don't mean to be flippant when I say 'search me', but I genuinely don't know how the DWP can provide this answer and think it's satisfactory. There's still time to protest about this as the plans are only at the White Paper stage. I would suggest writing to your MP. I will definitely be keeping the pressure up via SavvyWoman - so do spread the word.
Posted by Billopp dated 2013-02-25 11:47:27
Why is it that everyone asumes the new flat rate pension will pay more than the existing scheme. Most people seem to think that it will go up from the basic state pension of about £107 pw to £144 pw. What they don't seem to realise is that the figure of £144 also includes state second pension which in many cases could make the existing state pension more than £144 pw if state second pension/SERPS is included. Another important point to remember is that if the person has any contracted service this could reduce the figure they receive from the DWP as in the following example. Contracted out pension say £50, Basic state pension £107 and state second pension £20 they will only receive £127 from the DWP when the new flat rate scheme starts as the DWP will assume that the balance of £17 will be paid by the contracted scheme. A few more things to remember is that at the moment a person only needs 30 years to receive the full basic pension and when the flat rate scheme
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-02-26 08:33:32
Hi Billopp, Thanks for your comment. You raise an interesting point and the flat rate state pension will not be as generous as the government would like us to think it is. Having said that, it will be of particular benefit to women, as far more women currently only qualify for the basic state pension and not for state second pension or SERPS. I definitely support the idea in principle as I'm afraid the current system is far too complicated. It can be almost impossible for someone to work out what they'll get, which is no basis for retirement planning.
Posted by Ruth dated 2013-03-04 16:58:01
'Unfortunately, the state pension is outside the scope of equality legislation. My understanding is that it would be difficult to bring a legal challenge on the grounds of discrimination' SO...if it's outside the scope of equality legislation, how come the government said it would be discrimination against men if women's pension age rise wasn't accelerated to equalise with mens ?????
Posted by mari dated 2013-03-04 21:22:01
on the old state pension i would have achieved the 30 years required to qualify for the full pension - probs about 33 years therefore when i retire at 64 years 2 months I will be 2 years short of the required 35 years therefore will not get the full £144 - also what happens to a married couple - my husband is due to get his pension Jan 2016 when he is 65 - and my date is Nov 2017 - so do we get 2 separate pensions or do they band it together and pay us less - confusing
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-04 22:42:38
Hi Ruth, Thanks for your comment. I'm not an equality law expert, but I have spoken to pension lawyers and pension consultants who have said it would be difficult for someone to challenge the government on the grounds of sex discrimination, relating to the state pension. You make a good point about the government's justification of the speeded up rise to 66 - and it was because they would fall foul of EU Equality Laws. Whether the same laws that say men and women should receive state pension at the same age could be used to challenge the fact that men and women born on the same date will receive different pension amounts is something I don't know. However, I do think that the government can - and should - be put under pressure to change their plans.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-05 08:39:04
Hi Mari, Thanks for your comment. First of all, your husband will still get his state pension when he reaches 65. As you say, you have over 30 years' of National Insurance but won't have 35 years by April 2017, which is when the flat rate state pension is planned to be introduced. The government has said it will let women buy extra National Insurance nearer the time, so I'd wait until we know exactly what the government has planned. Currently a year's worth of NI costs about £650. I can understand why it's confusing and concerning...as the goalposts keep shifting.
Posted by Ruth dated 2013-03-05 16:34:09
Also how come there will be at least 10 years notice of any future pension age rise when the women affected for the second time by the latest age rise, were not given that? And if only 35 years of contributions qualify, what about the women like my sister who will have paid in 50 years by she can retire? Also how can young people be expected to save for their retirement when there are less and less jobs for them because older people who have done their bit are being forced to work longer? It's all totally unfair and badly thought out and is making matters worse for all ordinary working people instead of better.
Posted by Clare dated 2013-03-06 22:06:57
Hi Sarah, this is not the only group who sre being discriminated aginst. I am! I have written to my MP & had a letter back from Steve Webb DWP Minister. My DOB is 02-04-1951 I got my State Pension in March 2012. As im drawing my Pension already, mine wont go up to the new flat rate, so thats not fair.My full Rate is £107.45 a wk, so at todays rate, i would be £36.55 a wk short of the new flat rate forever!Surely everyone should get the new flat rate, not everyone, except those already drawing their Pension? I feel like i dont have any support for my cause. why should i be worse off?
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-07 18:46:07
Hi Clare, Thanks for your comment. You're absolutely right that you will lose out compared to someone on the 'basic' state pension alone once the flat rate scheme has been introduced, and I can understand why you're unhappy about this. When any change is introduced, there are often 'winners and losers'. Many changes - for whatever reason - aren't retrospective. I do think that women who've seen their state pension age rise twice and who will see men of the same age receive a higher state pension are a bit of a special case, although I don't think the government agrees.
Posted by bilko the dog dated 2013-03-07 19:02:31
Sarah, it seems to me that the fairest proposal that I have seen put forward, by the insurance industry and others regarding White Paper consultation, is the principle of 10 year lead in time to allow individuals and savings providers to adjust. None of the changes affecting my wife, who is 59, have had anything like a 10 year lead in time and how we see it, she has been diddled out of several years expected state pension already, between age 60 and 64.5 yrs I doubt if any 59 year old woman caused one iota of the economic crisis we are in, and the solution to increased longevity ought not to be killing people off by having to work for years longer at too short notice to make plans.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-07 22:53:09
Hi Bilko the dog (great name!), Thanks for your comment. I completely agree. I think the second rise in the state pension age to 66 was an absolutely shocking decision, not least because it simply doesn't give the women affected enough time to prepare. I genuinely can't understand how the government could make this decision even during times of 'austerity'.
Posted by Clare, Haampshire dated 2013-03-10 10:51:11
Thank you Sarah for replying to my comment.I agree with you that the large group having had their Pension age pushed back twice have a case to be sorted!But my case also needs sorting, bcos i will be losing £35 a week, on current rates,from the date the flat rate comes in,which is also a lot of money to be short of,compared to the majority of Pensioners on the NEW FULL flat rate,when introduced.Because,over the first 6 years from the date of flat rate being introduced i will receive £10,920.00 less than everyone else. Pension age previously for women was 60 years.I missed a year of receiving my Pension,because i got my Pension at 61 years.So i have already lost £5616, compared to friends who got there Pension a Year earlier under OLD RULES.A 59 yr old woman that wont get their Pension till 64,on OLD RULES wouldnt have started receiving her Pension until age 60 years.From 60 until 64 years,under NEW RULES,over that four years,this woman will lose £22,464.00 at todays flat rate of £
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-10 13:48:45
Hi Clare, You're welcome re the reply - and thanks for yours too! I'm not trying to dismiss how you feel. I'm sure if I was in your position I'd be pretty angry about it as well. I know this isn't the point, but I suppose you've checked to see if you qualify for Pension Credit or any other benefits, such Council Tax benefit? I was trying to find out the names of organisations that might be campaigning about this (such as Age UK or the National Pensioners' Convention), but I'm not sure what their policy is. I will try and find some figures on how much extra it would cost to pay the flat rate pension to existing pensioners as I think it would be useful to know.
Posted by Joy dated 2013-03-15 12:09:18
Good article re all this on Womans House Friday 15th March, listen to it on catchup I player, worth a listen. 1. Expected a pension at 60 now nearly 63 before I recieve it. All of this has been done without a lot of publicity I feel. They in power presume we will not protest or make our feelings know on this issue. It means its 37.00 per week you are losing out on, nearly 2,000 a year for rest of your life. Contact your M.P. and make you feelings known before its too late. The more you go into it the more unfair it seems. I will be writing to my M.P. this week-end, more noise we make re this the better, it needs bringing to the fore.
Posted by 59 not a good age to be dated 2013-03-16 18:46:32
I accept that pension provision has got to change in line with longer life expectancy and unfortunately changeovers are always painful. The way this one has been handled though is outrageous. I have written to my MP, my main point has been that other groups have been given 10 years notice - why not us?
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-17 07:22:52
Hi Joy, Thanks for your comment and apologies for the slight delay in replying. I heard the Woman's Hour interview (and tweeted about it). I was really pleased that they were highlighting the issue of women who will lose out in relation to state pensions. It's also been covered in the Daily Mail - as well as on SavvyWoman. I'm writing another article today explaining the timeline of changes to state pensions and why some women born in the 1950s will be so much worse off. I'd definitely recommend writing to your MP. I'm going to try and add a template letter which you can copy and paste and send to your MP. As you say, it's not too late to protest. If you want to get an idea of the feelings of others in relation to these state pension changes, have a quick look at the article about the raising of the state pensions age to 66, which you can read by copying and pasting this link: http://savvywoman.co.uk/c7-pages/c7s1.php?art_id=502
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-17 07:57:52
Hi 59 is not a good age to be, Thanks for your comment. I agree with your sentiments entirely. I campaigned about this - a lot - in 2010 and 2011 when the plans were first unveiled. The impression I got was that the government didn't want to listen. I asked Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, to respond to questions from SavvyWoman website users and I think the responses said quite a lot about the level of importance attached to the financial problems women like you face as a result of these changes. You can read the article here: http://www.savvywoman.co.uk/c7-pages/c7s1.php?art_id=587 I will be writing more articles about the flat rate pension, and am pleased you have written to your MP. Do let me know what he or she says.
Posted by davidcameronhater dated 2013-03-18 06:48:26
I was born in 1947 and retired aged 60 in 2007. I do not get a full pension. I want the £144 pw I'm entitled to.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-19 10:16:32
Hi Davidcameron hater, Thanks for your comment. As you'll see, you're not alone in being pretty angry about the changes to the state pension. Steve Webb, when he was giving evidence at the Pensions Select Committee last Monday (11th March) said that - on average - women would be £9 a week better off with the £144 a week pension, not £30+ a week as not all will get the full £144 a week under the new rules and some women were entitled to a full basic state pension plus either SERPS or the state second pension (which they received through National Insurance they paid at work). I'm sure that won't be much comfort to you...and I've no idea what these figures are based on so can't vouch for their accuracy.
Posted by equalityplease dated 2013-03-20 19:25:40
Many people think that they will automatically get £144 in the new flat rate. This is far from the case and is dependent on several factors. Could you flag this up and give an example of what someone born in May 1953 with 37 years of contributions may get?
Posted by Pauline dated 2013-03-20 19:26:53
Hi Sarah, re: Cameronhater & Claire, I agree with their comments and as regards how much it would cost to give the flat rate to existing pensioners, an article I read some months ago stated that it would be the same as that spent on drug and alcohol abuser benefits!!! I am and have never been either and it just isn't FAIR!!
Posted by Pauline dated 2013-03-20 19:29:17
Whoops! Sorry I meant I have never been either an alcoholic nor drug user; just a hard working gutted, retired woman.
Posted by calibra dated 2013-03-26 15:56:27
re Women born before 6th April 1953 won’t get the flat rate state pension of £144 a week, under current plans. Paid in for 41 years and now because i was born just 7 months too early i will miss out
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-29 09:56:42
Hi Equalityplease, Thanks for your comment and I'm sorry not to reply until today. I missed your comment when I was checking for new comments, for some reason. You are right to say that many people assume that they will get £144 a week, if they are entitled to the flat rate pension. However, that will only be the case for women born on or after April 6th 1953 who have paid National Insurance (or been credited with NI) for 35 years or more. In your case, if you have paid NI for 37 years, you would be entitled to the full £144 a week. I have explained in all my articles about the 'flat rate pension' that it's not really flat rate at all, in that if you don't have 35 years of NI you won't get the full amount.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-29 10:04:04
Hi Pauline, Thanks for your comments and I'm sorry not to reply to them until now. I've not heard the figure you're referring to about paying the state pension to existing pensioners being the same cost as stopping drug or alcohol help. The point I was making is that governments often make changes that aren't retrospective. For example, the change in 2010, which meant that men and women only needed 35 years of National Insurance to get a full basic state pension wasn't retrospective. I'm not saying that's a good policy - I'm just saying it's standard practice. Bearing in mind that the government wouldn't even delay the speeding up of the rise in the state pension age to 66 by a few months (despite the fact that costs of doing so wouldn't have been colossal), I have little faith in their abilities to prioritise spending when it comes to state pensions.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-03-29 10:07:09
Hi Calibra, Thanks for your comment. I can really understand your frustration. There does always have to be a cut off point, but I have had a lot of emails and comments from women who are pretty angry that they will miss out. The only thing you can do, to increase your state pension income when you retire, is to apply for Pension Credit. It is a means tested benefit so you may not be entitled to get it.
Posted by AtTheVanguard dated 2013-04-07 11:01:49
Like many others in the remaining cohort of the 350,000 born between 6 April 52 and 6 April 53, I have quietly pushed all my working life for equal pay and recognition for women. Often suffering for it as a result. It's totally galling now to be facing our retired years on a different (lower) pension than men born at the same time. To say nothing, of course, about the 34% (and rising annually) differential in headline pension benefit. I'm delighted that the sub-cohort of 80,000 have been brought into the STP, but I fear that the rest of the women in the initial cohort have now 'lost our voice' and will be ignored. If you're in that cohort, please keep up the pressure by writing to your MP and joining forces with other women who are facing a lower pension for the rest of their lives, simply because they were born in the wrong year.
Posted by jan dated 2013-04-07 18:36:06
I, too, am one of the 350000 and feel we're now being absolutely ignored. Steve Webb provided statistics trying to make out we'll be no worse off under the current system. I don't see how getting £155 a week from April 16th is worse than, in my case getting £112, from February 2016. Is there a petition about this?
Posted by katiellew dated 2013-04-07 21:47:54
How can Steve Webb's statistics which argue that the 1952/53 cohort of women will be no worse off under the STP, still apply? They were predicated on an implementation date of April 2017 and a weekly rate of £144. The former has changed to April 2016 and the latter is soon to change. The parliamentary committee did not get chance to scrutinise the impact of the new 2016 date since it finished its proceedings 1 week before George Osborne's announcement on March 17th. It all seems hurried as if the government is determined to drive through this Bill through before those particularly affected, such as the 350000 cohort, have time to react or comment.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-04-08 13:46:04
Hi At the vanguard, Thanks for your comment. I have to agree with you as the government's 'concession' follows a similar path to their response to protests against the speeding up of the rise in the state pension age to 66. In that case, they took the edge off the worst of the rise, and in this case they're planning to help around 20% of women who will miss out on the £144 a week pension. I would echo your plea that women write to their MP etc. Do keep up the pressure - especially as the Pensions Bill is due to go before parliament very shortly (I think in May).
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-04-08 13:49:03
Hi Jan, There are a couple of petitions about this issue but, when I last checked they didn't have many signatures. I think your best bet is to write to your MP as it's likely to be more powerful than signing a petition. I thought Steve Webb did some clever reworking of statistics. In some ways, I'm not surprised as this government seems to have singularly failed to grasp the impact of its changes on women born in the 1950s.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-04-08 13:54:02
Hi Katie, Thanks for your comment. I agree with you completely. The government didn't give the committee enough time to scrutinise its plans (you can see my article about its criticisms of the government here: http://www.savvywoman.co.uk/c7-pages/c7s1.php?art_id=969). This is a horrible case of deja vu. The government did exactly the same with the rise in the state pension age to 66 - making a change to appease those who were the worst off and ignoring how it would affect the vast majority. Do write to your MP.
Posted by Jan dated 2013-04-08 15:32:53
Hi Sarah, I've written to my MP but I'm afraid I got a patronising very general reply not dealing with any of the points I'd raised. Are you please able to provide a link for the petitions you mentioned?Many thanks.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-04-11 06:57:24
Hi Jan, Thanks for your comment. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't get a reasonable reply from your MP, but, I have to say I'm not entirely surprised. There is a link to one petition in the article itself. I've checked the others and they have even fewer signatures, so I'm afraid that the protest doesn't seem to have been well mobilised. If you put the words 'single tier pension' and 'petition' into Google, you'll find links to the others, but one is closed and another has only one signature...
Posted by Pauline dated 2013-04-12 09:32:30
I am 67 and receive a state pension,in my own right, of £72.08 pw which includes £2.69 Graduated Retirement Benefit. My husband is 70 and receives a state pension of £134.27 which includes £6.01 Graduated Retirement Benefit, Pre 97 Additional State Pension of £14.41 and Post 97 Additional State Pension of £3.70. Is a married woman's pension based on her husband's contributions, 60% of the basic state pension (£110.15) or are the other contributions taken into account?
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-04-12 11:20:09
Hi Pauline, Thanks for your question. The married woman's state pension (otherwise known as a 'category B pension') is based on 60% of the full basic state pension.
Posted by Kathryn Greaves dated 2013-04-16 21:53:02
I'm still very annoyed at what happened to all the women born in the 50's. I spoke to MP's and Pensions Minster Steve Webb about the unfairness of what was happening. I will qualify for the new flat rate state pension if it starts in April, 2016 as I will not now get my State Pension until I am nearly 66. Can I ask, do you think if Labour gets in at the next election, they will look into what has happened and give some recompence to all the women who have been affected so badly or will they just go with it. The Labour MP's and some Conservative MP's I spoke to were all against the situation that thousands of women had found themselves in. Wonder if they will do anything!!!!!
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-04-16 22:06:53
Hi Kathryn, Thanks for your comment. That's a very good question about what Labour might do if they got into power. Rachel Reeves MP was very active in campaigning against the speeding up of the rise in state pension age to 66 and Glenda Jackson and Dame Anne Begg certainly has some concerns about the flat rate state pension. I'll see if I can get an answer from Labour - although - even if they say they would take action - it's one thing to say what you'd do while you're in opposition and another to stick to it if you are elected...
Posted by Susan Scott dated 2013-05-11 16:56:21
Could someone not be persuaded to take the case to the courts of Human Rights as I am sure if men's pensions had been changed in such short time scales this would not have gone through parliament as quickly
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-05-12 07:47:02
Hi Susan, Thanks for your comment. I've spoken to one pensions lawyer about the human rights angle, and they weren't optimistic but I will see if I can talk to any others. I have a horrible feeling it's probably a fait accompli, but - if there's anything that can be done - it should be. One other thought is that now George Osborne has admitted how much it's saved the government, they will be reluctant to give up on those savings...
Posted by Barbara Lawrence dated 2013-05-29 15:28:12
I wrote to my MP about the way in which the reforms to state pension age will discriminate against me a woman born in August 1952. She has replied that she is 'delighted that the Chancellor has confirmed that the introduction of the single tier pension will be brought forward a year to 2016. This move will mean that around 400000 more people reach State Retirement age under the single tier including that group of 85 thousand women who would have previously missed out on the new tier. Under this change every woman affected by the acceleration of the State Retirement age equalisation process in the Pensions Act 2011 will now reach State Pension age under the single tier.' I can't find any confirmation of this in my searches of the web. Do you know if this change is correctly described and if so how I can confirm my position. I would be grateful for any light you can shed.
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-05-31 08:49:41
Hi Angela, Thanks for your comment. Yes, your MP is correct that the planned introduction date has been brought forward by one year from April 2017 to April 2016 (although it doesn't really help you). That was announced in the week of the Budget and I've also referred to it in my article above. However, you will not receive the new single tier pension. I've just checked your state pension age and it will be 6th January 2015, which means you will receive your state pension under the current rules and not the new flat rate pension. I'm doing some more campaigning about this at the moment. Keep checking this section.
Posted by Mikey1 dated 2013-05-31 21:42:02
Presumably those men and women faced with the prospect of working longer until they receive their state pension will at least have the benefit of one or more years extra earnings. Other than for those who desire to put their feet up and receive their pension as soon as possible, extra earned income ought to be viewed as a good thing. For those women who feel short changed by the measures that phased in the equalisation of state retirement ages, the solution would be to allow them the option of working until they are 65 or 66 in 2016 and then receive the new flat rate pension. For those already retired and who will retire before 2016, then yes it may well seem unfair that they will miss out on the new flat rate pension (although many of course will receive pension credits or state second pensions that take them close to or beyond the £144). Unfortunately, as Sarah has pointed out, there will always be winners and losers when changes are introduced. When you are a winner, you f
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-06-01 08:09:13
Hi Mikey1, Thanks for your comment. It is correct that there will always be winners and losers and women will still receive their state pension earlier than men when the flat rate state pension is introduced. I welcome the simplification of pensions and agree with the broad idea of this one. However, I do think some elements of the introduction of the flat rate state pension could do with a rethink.
Posted by Linda dated 2013-07-30 22:40:27
I am aged 59 and am one of the women who has been diddled twice. I asked for a pension statement from the government website, and the result said that I had worked enough years to qualify for the full £144 when I reach 66, but that I might get less if I was contracted out for part or all of my working life. It seems to me that the government is in full possession of information about this and should have been able to tell me how my pesion will be affected. I was contracted out most of the time, and the contributions paid to the government were only slightly less than everyone elses. I understand why it may be justified to pay me a bit less, but others have suggested that I will just get the basic £107 or so that is being paid now. How can I find out whatbI might get?
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2013-07-31 07:26:11
Hi Linda, Thanks for your question. I can understand why you're fed up. The state pension website is not able to tell you what you would actually get under the new system, because the Pensions Bill hasn't been passed in parliament yet. Tony Attubato (SavvyWoman's state and company pensions expert) answered a similar question to this recently, so I've copied and pasted the link so you can find out a bit more. http://www.savvywoman.co.uk/c0-pages/asktheexpert-answer.php?qno=860 . It is confusing and I do think the government has made some bad decisions about state pensions (especially relating to the age rise to 66). I hope this answers your question...
Posted by Anniebee dated 2014-05-29 09:01:52
I reaxhed 65 years last yesr and retured from my full time employment at the end of December. I have a heart condition and felt the full time job was just getting too much for me. I receive a British pension of £255 per month. I am British born but lived overseas from the age of 20 to 55 and contributed at the given 'ex pat' rate during that time. I have attempted to pay in to my pension pot to increase my monthky amounts but HMRC says i am not sbld to do this as i am short approx 7 months of contributions! I have some savings which will help me as i cannot survive on £255 a month. Is there snything i can do to increase my pension thst i am unaware of?
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2014-06-01 07:19:05
Hi Anniebee,
Thanks for your question. I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that. The rules around when you can buy extra National Insurance contributions if you live abroad are complicated. There is some information on the HM Revenue and Customs' website which you may find useful. You can read it by copying and pasting this link into your browser: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ni/volcontr/abroad.htm . I'd also recommend that you contact the Pensions Advisory Service as they can give you information about what you are able to do and not do. Their contact details are on their website: http://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/
Posted by Disguntled dated 2014-07-13 11:51:23
I was born in Nov 1953 - have had my pension age moved twice with no consultation and now may lose my Serps under the new scheme. I cannot accept that the government should be able to just get away with this. Surly this can be challenged?
Posted by Sarah Pennells dated 2014-07-14 07:55:04
Hi Disgruntled,
Thanks for your question. I'm not surprised you're feeling disgruntled (or worse). I'm not trying to defend the government in any way, but the first change to the state pension age wasn't made by this government but was introduced in 1995. The problem is it was so badly publicised (by the government and by journalists) that many thousands of women had no idea they would be affected by it. The second rise in the state pension age - to 66 - broke a coalition government promise and a Conservative party manifesto pledge. I feel it was VERY badly thought through. Regarding SERPS - if you're referring to the single tier/flat rate state pension, you won't lose any SERPS you've already built up, although you won't build it up in the future. All in all though, I think women in your age group have been very badly served.

 
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