WOMEN are being “shafted and short-changed” by a decision to accelerate the rate at which the state pension age is to be equalised, an MP has said.
The state pension age for women was due to rise from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020 but the coalition Government decided to speed up the process in 2011.
As a result the state pension age for women is due to go up to 65 in November 2018 and then to 66 by October 2020.
Critics of the accelerated equalisation believe it is unfair on women who were born in the 1950s who have had to rethink their retirement plans on relatively short notice.
Mhairi Black, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, urged the Government to put in place transitional arrangements to help those women affected.
Introducing a backbench business debate on the subject, she said: “The Government has said that the policy decision to increase women’s state pension age is designed to remove the inequality between men and women.
“That’s a strange definition of equality whereby I am being shafted and short-changed purely for the fact of when I am born and the fact that I am a woman.
“That’s not my definition of equality.”
Plans to increase the state pension age for women were initially set out in 1995.
Ms Black said women are not being given enough time to prepare for the fact that they will receive their state pension later than they may have anticipated.
“There has to be better transitional arrangements here,” she said.
“The Conservative ethos is to encourage independence and responsible choice but how can that happen if you don’t give people the time to make the responsible choices?
“By continuing this policy at such a high speed the Government is knowingly and deliberately placing another burden on women who are already trying to deal with the consequences of an Act passed 21 years ago that they have only found out about now.”