Plight of the Waspi women: Labour calls for women's retirement age to be lowered to 64

Many women born in the 1950s have lost out since the pension age was equalised with less than three years notice

Ashley Cowburn@ashcowburn
Monday 25 September 2017 00:44
Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams will address the Labour conference in Brighton
Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams will address the Labour conference in Brighton

Labour will call on the Government to lower the retirement age for women born in the 1950s, enabling them to retire from 64 years of age on a reduced state pension – instead of 66.

Debbie Abrahams, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, will make the announcement during her keynote speech to party delegates gathered in Brighton for Labour’s annual conference, accusing the Government of a “chaotic mismanagement” over the reforms.

The 1995 Pensions Act increased women's State pension age from 60 to age 66 to bring it in line with men. Any woman due to reach age 60 before 2010 kept her pension age. Women born after 6 April 1950 saw their state pension age gradually rise until those born after 6 April 1955 had their state pension paid from age 66 just like men.

The campaign has centred on the plight of the so-called Waspi women (Women Against State Pension Inequality) and estimated that around 2.6m women have lost out because of the changes to pension law. Labour’s new policy will grant women the ability to retire up to two years earlier.

At the Labour party conference on Monday, Ms Abrahams will add: “Today Labour announces new proposals to end the historic injustice faced by 1950s born women, as promised in our manifesto ‘for the many, not for the few’.

“We are calling on the Government to immediately allow those affected by state pension age equalisation the chance to retire two years earlier at the age of 64.

“This will ensure that those who have suffered the consequences of this Government’s chaotic mismanagement of the state pension age have the security they need. We will continue to work with these women to get justice.”

The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary will also repeat the party’s call for the immediate suspension of the Universal Credit system as the Government prepares to rapidly accelerate the programme to different areas of country. It comes after considerable criticism from food banks, charities and council leaders that the roll-out of the scheme – devised by Iain Duncan Smith – is pushing claimants further into rent arrears and increased debt.

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