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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Government U-turn on rise in state pension age

The SPA is set increase from 60 to 65 by November 2018 for women, followed by the jump to 66 for both men and women in April 2020 - this will now be delayed until October.

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith said the government would cap the increase at 18 months.

Mr Duncan Smith said: "We have listened to the concerns of those women most affected by the proposed rise in state pension age to 66 and so we will cap the increase to a maximum of 18 months.

"We have always made clear that we would manage any change fairly and ensure any transition is as smooth as possible."

The Pensions Bill will be amended before its third reading and report stage on 18 October.

The move comes after mounting criticism that the changes would unfairly affect half a million women who faced an additional two year wait to collect their pensions.

Pensions minister Steve Webb (pictured) said the government hoped to end "uncertainty" for women.

He said: "We want to end the uncertainty for women waiting to learn what their state pension age is and we will be communicating with those affected so that they can properly plan for their future."

Prime minister David Cameron promised at yesterday's prime minister's questions to put in place support for women worst affected by state pension reform.

Mr Cameron said: "It is right to equalise men and women's state pension ages. It is right to raise the retirement age to 66.

"We know a large group of people are affected by this transition and some people will potentially have to work for an extra two years.

"We are looking at what transitional help we can give to this group of people and will make an announcement shortly."

Yesterday was the deadline for MPs to submit amendments to be considered in the final stages of the bill.

Four amendments relating to SPAs were submitted yesterday, signed by a group of six Liberal Democrat MPs.

The first of these demands the group of women having their SPA brought forward is changed from those born between April 1953 and May 1953 to those born between December 1953 and January 1954.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the concession equated to the government admitting it had got "the increase in the state pension age for women wrong".

He added: "But hundreds of thousands of women will still lose out and have every right to be angry.

"Putting up the state pension age doesn't create a single extra job for older workers, and the worst hit will be those women who can neither work nor claim a pension, and have to rely on our tough and mean benefits system."

Source: Professional Pensions