Women’s State Pension Issue is a ‘Massive Failure in Public Policy’

Former Pensions Minister Baroness Altmann said she regretted the UK government’s actions that failed to properly warn women born in the 1950s about the change in their state pension age.

The decision in 1995 under the Pensions Act imposed had the government decide that men and women’s state pension ages should be equal by 2020.

Female retirees born during the time — believing their pension age to be 60 — found themselves warned too shortly. According to Women Against State Pension Inequality, women had very little time to react.

Women above the age of 60 are struggling to find employment. Most of them said they worried about money more than anything else.

Mrs Altmann voiced her own regret that the letter sent to the women did not give them enough time to change their financial plans. According to her:

“It perhaps misled them, or lulled them into a false sense of security, and if they did believe that their state pension age was 60, partly that was because the government led them to believe that.”

However, during her time, Mrs Altmann said the letters sent to women informing them of changes to their state pension age were quite clear and fair.

Former Coalition Government Pensions Minister Steve Webb said “Given that we now know that the Department for Work and Pensions undertook surveys in the early 2000s — which showed a significant minority of women were not aware of the 1995 Act timetable — it is surprising that previous administrations did not act upon that information at that time and they did not take action to improve awareness of the changes.”