Monday, 11 March 2013

400,000 women to miss pension uplift

The government has admitted that hundreds of thousands of women currently aged 59 or 60 are at risk of receiving lower weekly pensions than men of the same age.

They make up a group of 430,000 destined to reach the lower female pension age before a new, flat rate pension of £144 a week comes into force.

Typically, they will get £127 a week while men of the same age will qualify for the flat rate.

That's because the men won't reach their higher pension age of 65 until after the flat rate payment is introduced in April 2017.

The difference will be eliminated from that date - and from late 2018 women will retire at the same age as men in any case.

The Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, argued in parliament today that the women would be better off over their lifetimes.

"Many of this group of women will be thousands of pounds better off by being able to draw their pension years before a man of the same age," he said.

"And they would not thank us if we made them wait years longer for their pension."

The Department for Work and Pensions released figures showing that up to 85 per cent of  the women will receive a higher income over their retirement under the current system than a man born on the same day.

The Department also stated that 75 per cent of them could defer claiming the state pension and qualify for a weekly rate of £144.

However, many women are likely to find that their weekly pension income remains lower than that of a similarly aged man, simply because of the timing of the planned reforms.

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