Saga continues to believe that the Government's proposals to increase the State Pension Age for a group of women in their late fifties, who have already accepted a rise in their pension age of 4 or 5 years, is unfair and needs to be reconsidered. Many of the women affected have no way of making up for the lost pension income they were expecting and the proposals run directly against the commitments made in the Coalition Agreement just one year ago.
In that Agreement the Coalition partners promised that the state pension age for women would not start to rise again before 2020. Yet, within a few weeks, it had announced that women's pension age will start increasing again in 2016. The proposal is particularly unfair for women. Men's state pension age will not start rising until 2018 and then only by a maximum of one year, whereas the Government's plans will see the pension age for over 500,000 women increase by over one year, with 300,000 of them facing an increase of more than a year and half.
The most vulnerable women are already on low incomes, some are unwell or caring for others and were relying on the state pension to be paid, as promised, to avoid penury. Now the Government is proposing to force them onto unemployment benefits or means-testing at a much less generous level than for pensioners. There is huge anger among the women affected, who feel desperately let down by the Government.
It is, therefore, heartening to see that some LibDem MPs are willing to defy the Coalition and call for a rethink. Annette Brooke and Alan Reid have asked Ministers to rethink.
Saga has 15,000 over 50's who believe this is wrong.