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New state pension unfair to women


The new state pension, which from April will replace basic and additional pensions for people reaching retirement age, has been accused of being unduly harsh to women by a group of MPs.

Under the new regulations, anyone with less than 10 years National Insurance (NI) contributions will not qualify for the state pension at all. This will have a detrimental effect on women who have been housewives for most of their lives but did not qualify for NI credits. The new state pension rules also mean that married women (or men) will no longer be able to claim their spouse’s pension after their death.

As well as these changes, the work and pensions select committee believe that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) failed to tell women born in the 1950s that they would lose their right to a state pension at age 60 in good time. The issue will now be debated in parliament.

MP Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions select committee, said:
“Successive governments have bungled the fundamental duty to tell women of these major changes to when they can expect their state pension. Retirement expectations have been smashed, as some women have only been told a couple of years before the date they expected to retire that no such retirement pension is now available.

“We are also concerned about the accuracy of existing information that is being sent out to women about their state pension entitlement. Groups representing this grotesquely disadvantaged group of women have suggested a pension entitlement notice. And so have other experts who have given evidence to the committee.”

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