State pension age rises – one in ten women can’t plug the gap

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The rise(s) in the state pension age is one of the issues that readers contact SavvyWoman most about. We regularly hear from women who are really struggling because they aren’t getting their state pension when they expected it.

In October this year, we asked SavvyWoman subscribers and members of WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) to take part in a survey on how the state pension age rise(s) have affected them. Here are some of the results:

State pension age rises

SavvyWoman asked 2,662 women born between April 6th 1950 and October 5th 1954 (this covers the time from when the state pension age started to rise from 60 to when it reaches 66) if they have been affected financially by the rise(s) in state pension age:

  • Almost two thirds (60.4 per cent) have had to make major cutbacks
  • Almost one in four (24.3 per cent) have had to make limited cutbacks
  • Only three per cent (3.3 per cent) say it’s made no difference

We also asked 3,242 women born between April 6th 1950 and October 5th 1954 about how they made up this shortfall:

  • Over one in four (26.9 per cent) have carried on working to make ends meet
  • Over one in five (21.6 per cent) have dipped into or used all of their savings
  • Almost one in five (19.1 per cent) have relied on their husband or partner financially
  • Almost one in ten (9.4 per cent) haven’t been able to make up the shortfall
  • Over three per cent (3.2) sold their house
  • Over two per cent (2.5) were able to claim jobseeker’s allowance/other benefits
  • Over 1 per cent (1.7) borrowed or took on more debt

NB: the survey numbers are different (2,662 and 3,242) as the survey questions were not mandatory to answer.

Over 6,400 women answered questions relating to the state pension age rises.

Almost 60% of women said they agreed with the equalisation of state pension ages to 65 in principle but not the way it was introduced. Only 3.4% of women agreed with both the principle and the way the state pension age rise to 65 was introduced.

80% of women didn’t agree with the introduction of the state pension age rise to 66 (the 2011 Act). 14.2% of women agreed that it was fair.

On Thursday 14th December, Labour MP Grahame Morris is leading a three hour committee debate and voteable motion in the House of Commons for WASPI about the equality of pension provision for women. WASPI say there are 3.4 million affected by the lack of notice of the 1995 and 2011 Pensions Acts.

WASPI wants women born in the 1950s (on or after 6th April 1950) affected by the rise in state pension age to 65 or 66 to be given transitional payments. This would be a ‘bridging’ pension to cover the gap from when the women reach 60 until they reach state pension age. This payment wouldn’t be means tested. Women who’ve already reached state pension age would receive compensation for the money they’d missed out on.

Related articles:

Raising the state pension age to 66; when will you get your state pension?

WASPI women could take up apprenticeships, says Pensions Minister

WASPI state pension campaign group latest action

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