The government’s plans for a flat rate state pension will mean thousands of women won’t qualify

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. That’s because men won’t get their state pension until they’re 65, whereas women’s state pension age is lower.

Why women won’t get the flat rate pension
Women won’t get the single tier pension unless they’re born on or after April 6th 1953, whereas men will get it if they’re born on or after April 6th 1951.

– The flat rate or single tier state pension is being introduced in 2016. The flat rate state pension would be paid to women who reach state pension age on or after April 6th 2016.

SAVVY TIP: Only women (and men) who reach state pension age on or after the date it’s introduced 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 1951 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.

SAVVY TIP: This doesn’t take into account they pension they will lose as a result of the increases in state pension age from 60.

Why women born in the 1950s are disproportionately affected
Why is this an issue when women will get their state pension earlier than men? The reason is that women born in the 1950s have already had two changes to their state pension, which will mean they get less money in their retirement overall.

– The state pension age of women born after 5th April 1950 started to rise from 60 to 65 from April 2010. 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.

Are you affected? Calculate your state pension age
Use the government’s state pension age calculator to work out your own state pension age.

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?

How to get a state pension statement – and understand it

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