STATE PENSION INEQUALITY: MP says Pensions Minister Ros Altmann has ‘taken the Queen’s Shilling’ in crunch Commons debate


CYHzEdoWMAAxthNLabour MP Andrew Gwynne has torn into the Pensions Minister Ros Altmann over her failure to act on a crisis in the state pension system for many women born in the 1950s – only a few years after she called on the Government to reverse its plans.

Altmann, who was a prominent commentator on pension issues before becoming Pensions Minister in 2015, has previously called the situation ‘unfair’. Now a Minister, she has claimed she has no power to put in place the transitional arrangements that would soften the blow for thousands of women. The issue has arisen from two changes to the state pension age, the first in 1995 under John Major and the second in 2011, under the last Coalition Government. WASPI – the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign – has campaigned vigorously against this injustice.

Women born in the 1950s have had their state pension age increased consecutively, and most of them were not told of the changes until it was too late, leaving them only months away from their new retirement age before realising they would not be entitled to a state pension. This has left many of them jobless and with no means of support.

What is more, the former Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, has claimed that he was poorly briefed and regrets accelerating the equalisation of the state pension age for men and women in 2011.

Labour tabled an amendment to the Pensions Bill in 2011 to block the acceleration, but this was defeated. The Government had been warned, and failed to act.

MP Gwynne had previously raised the issue in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“It is an appalling injustice that these women have had no arrangements put in place to support them, and in most cases were not told of the changes until it was too late. Now many of them are struggling financially despite having worked hard and paid into the system for many years.

“I am stunned that despite the Pensions Minister previously having been outspoken on the issue, the Government is refusing to lift a finger. Shame on them.”

You can watch the full speech here

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13 thoughts on “STATE PENSION INEQUALITY: MP says Pensions Minister Ros Altmann has ‘taken the Queen’s Shilling’ in crunch Commons debate

  1. Thank you Mr Gwynne, I am co-founder of the group ‘Protest Against the Acceleration of the State Pension Age Rise’ and on our members behalf we appreciate very much your words about Ros Altmann who at one time agreed with us how unfair the age rise was, but now tells us not to contact her any more as there is nothing she can do, that there were not enough protesting in 2011! How could they when they didn’t know it was happening and it was rushed though with obscene haste when the coalition outvoted Labour to pass it.

  2. Thousands of women already losing. Have 42 yrs ni. Redundant at 57 in Sept 2010 casually told at job centre Spa change to Nov 2017. Requested fc showed Feb 2017! Asked for another fc last year showing Nov 2017 be past 64. Had 2 hikes and oap gone from £175 to £155. Losing over £38k. mps supporting Waspi were brilliant. Gvt response appalling…… All they are focusing on is the new pension. A grave injustice has been made and proven gvt simply hAve their heads in the clouds….. I have osteoarthritis etc and are unable.to work. My.husband has 47 yrs ni and unable to work now due to stress anxiety etc caused by work…..Sleepless nights etc….why do we continue to live….

  3. Have worked for 46 years(apart from 7 years bringing up my children) I have worked for 30 years in the nhs(nursing) because of my job I could have retired at 55 but knew that financially this would not be an option therefore planned for 60 when I knew I would get my state retirement pension. Physically I knew that I could not continue my nursing career past that age. I found out that in order to qualify I would need to work till 66. (Born in 1954) I now live on £500 per month from my nhs pension. I do not qualify for any benefits because I have a small amount of savings. Both myself and my husband decided to retire, he is the same age and receives £300 a month. We have all utilities, rent etc and are struggling. Think we would have been better off if we had never worked. I support any action that will overturn this injustice.

  4. Great speech Andrew! Thank you for supporting women born in the 1950s who through no fault of their own are facing this unfair change to their pension. Also, thank you for mentioning Ros Altmann and her volte face on the issue, she should be ashamed of herself.
    Please keep fighting for us,
    Helen

  5. I am also affected by the change in pensions for women, my husband and I moved to Bulgaria in Feb 2011. We knew nothing of these changes until last year when I did a forecast as I was due to start receiving my pension in March 2016. Now I have suddenly have to find enough money to survive for another 6 years, which we don’t have, we have contacted DWP who basically told me I should have made preparations for this, I did make preparations in 2011 knowing my pension start in 2016 and we would be fine, the Prime Ministers office was also no help either.
    We are very worried and stressed over this as we have nowhere to return to in the UK , so please Andrew keep doing as much as you can for us all in this situation.

  6. Although I’m not in your constituency and as I no longer reside in the UK ,this change in the State pension for women also affects me, greatly.
    My husband and I moved to Bulgaria in Feb 2011, as we could no longer afford to live in the UK.
    We had no idea of these changes until I did a forecast last year, expecting to start receiving my pension in March of this year ( 2016 ). We contacted DWP and were informed that we should have made preparation for this as they had been well broadcast, even though we knew nothing of it and received nothing in writing. Now we will have no money until 2022, we are both very worried and stressed.
    So glad that you are there fighting this,

  7. A brilliant speech said with a passion rarely seen in parliament. You did the WASPI Campaign proud and I thank you sincerely for supporting women who are suffering the injustice of this shameful acceleration of the State Pension age. I am 57 years old and have a very physical and challenging job which I will not be able to do for a further 9 years. This is a very worrying prospect and I am unsure of my financial future and not able to plan a life. This is so wrong when I have worked over 40 years and paid into the system on the understanding I had a contract. I would very much appreciate you attending the debate on the 1st February 2016 to support a form of transitional compensation for the women who are affected by this travesty. I have always expected to retire at 60 and I would estimate a loss of approximately £39,000 in state pension if I am not able to retire until I am 66. This money has been stolen. Talk about being mugged. !!!!!! I am disgusted this has been allowed and Ros Altmann is a disgrace.

  8. I am one the women who has been affected by this change I was born on the 31st December 1953 and now have to wait till I am 65 and 3 months. I have paid my national insurance contributions and deserve my right to a pension that was promised to me. Ros Altman is a disgrace and has let us down badly shame on her.

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