date: 20 June 2011
embargo: For immediate release
Commenting in advance of the vote today (Monday) in Parliament on the Second Reading of the Pensions Bill, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'Across the country thousands of women in their mid to late fifties will be hoping that MPs have the sense today to vote against the planned increase to the state pension age.
'Women born between December 1953 and October 1954 found out a few years ago that they were going to have to work until they were 64. If the Bill stays in its current form, many thousands of women will now have to postpone their retirement for a further 18 months or more.
'By 2020 both men and women will have to wait until they turn 66 before they are able to claim their state pension, but it is women who are now aged 56 and 57 who will be the hardest hit as they will have no time to make alternative plans for their retirement.
'Many women of this generation, especially those who worked part-time, are already suffering a pensions disadvantage because for many years they were not allowed to pay into schemes. Similarly many women born in the early 1950s have huge holes in their pension pots as a result of lengthy spells off work raising their families.
'Accelerating at such rapid speed the changes planned to state pension age for these women is hugely unfair, and MPs should do the right thing today and force the government to change its plans.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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Issued: 20 June, 2011