Women who would have seen a two year increase to their state pension age will have their wait reduced to 18 months Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has announced today. The Pensions Bill currently going through Parliament will be amended from the current timetable to cap the increase at a maximum of 18 months.
Iain Duncan Smith:
We have listened to the concerns of those women most affected by the proposed rise in state pension age to 66 and so we will cap the increase to a maximum of 18 months. We have always made clear that we would manage any change fairly and ensure any transition is as smooth as possible.
Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said:
We want to end the uncertainty for women waiting to learn what their State Pension Age is and we will be communicating with those affected so that they can properly plan for their future.
The Pensions Bill currently going through Parliament proposes that the state pension age for women will reach 65 by November 2018 and rise to 66 for both men and women by April 2020. Instead the amendments laid today will propose that men and women reach 66 by October 2020.
The Government brought forward the increase in state pension age to 66 because of dramatic increases in life expectancy and the need to ensure that no unfair burden is placed on the next generation.
The Government will spend £45 billion extra on pensioners by 2025 because of the triple guarantee to uprate the basic State Pension by the highest of earnings, prices or 2.5%.
When the State Pension Age was set at 65 in1926 there were nine people of working age for every pensioner. There are now three people of working age for every pensioner and that is set to fall to nearer two by the end of this century.
The Report Stage and Third Reading of the Pensions Bill are scheduled for Tuesday 18 October.
Note to Editors:
An amendment to clause 1 of the Pension Bill was tabled today about transitional arrangements for those affected by the increase in State Pension age to 66.
Read more about the proposed increase in State Pension age on Directgov - http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/SpendingReview/DG_192159