Simon Read: A small delay for the better

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The Independent Online

T here was a small victory for pension campaigners this week when the Government backtracked slightly on plans to raise the state pension age.

The Department for Work and Pensions announced that the proposed raising of the state pension age to 66 in April 2020 will be delayed until October 2020. That's important to the 33,000 women who had been facing an extra two-year wait for their pension under the original plans. But it still means that women born between 6 March and 5 April 1954 will have to work 18 months longer than they had expected.

And it's estimated they'll still end up with £7,500 less than if they had been able to claim the state pension when they had been told they would be eligible. Sure, they have a few years to make adjustments to their finances, but adequate pension planning needs to be done over a lifetime of work, not mucked about with close to retirement.

Worse, many of these woman may not simply be able to work for another 18 months to make up for the lost state pension. Many will have been busy raising families rather than concentrating on their career and so would find it nigh-on impossible to find work now, with unemployment soaring.

It's hard to quibble with the economic and financial need to raise retirement ages, but it needs to be done fairly. This week's tinkering is at least a step in the right direction.