date: 18 May 2011
embargo: For immediate release
Commenting on the mass lobby of parliament organised by Age UK today (Wednesday) involving women affected by the government's decision to bring forward plans to raise the state pension age, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'Earlier this year 2.6 million women in their fifties woke up to the news that they were going to have to work up to an extra year - and in some cases two - before they could claim their state pension, despite government assurances in the coalition agreement that moves to raise the state pension age wouldn't start for women until 2020.
'Women in the affected age group - those born between December 1953 and October 1954 - could lose up to several thousand pounds and will have to work for much longer than any of them had intended. Many quite understandably will have been planning their retirement. Now those plans will have to be put on hold.
'Ministers need to put a halt to this mean-spirited move to bring in the change at breakneck speed. The government should go one step further and back down completely on plans to make both men and women wait until they are 66 before they can start drawing their state pension. There is no justification for such a move.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The coalition agreement last May said that the increase in state pension age 'will not be sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women'. However the current Pensions Bill breaks this commitment by making the change start from 2018 for women.
- Details of the Age UK lobby are at http://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/state-pension-age-campaign/lobby-your-mp-on-18-may/
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
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Issued: 18 May, 2011