Accelerated rise in women’s state pension age approved by MPs

1 min Read Published: 21 Jun 2011

The Government’s controversial plans to raise the state pension age for women have been approved by MPs, as Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith pledged a "smooth" transition.

Tonight the Pensions Bill was given a second reading by 302 votes to 232, a Government majority of 70. This was despite more than 170 MPs signing an Early Day Motion calling for a rethink - including both Conservative and Lib Dem backbenchers

The news is a blow for around 330,000 women who will have to wait for an extra 18 months or even longer to receive their state pension.

What changes will the Pension Bill bring?

Under current rules, the state pension age for women is in the process of rising from 60 to 65 to equalise with men by 2020. In addition, to this the state pension age for both men and women was due to increase from 65 to 66 between 2024 and 2026.

However, the government's Pension Bill will instead speed up the timetable for bringing the state pension age into line at age 65 in November 2018 – two years earlier than previously planned. There will then be a rise to age 66 for both men and women between 2018 and 2020, six years earlier then planned.

Who will these changes affect?

Around 330,000 women born between December 1953 and October 1954 – now aged 56 and 57 – will have to wait at least 18 months longer for their state pension. 33,000 of these, born between March 6th and April 5th 1954 will see their state pension age increase by 2 years. They will lose £10,000 retirement income on average while they are waiting.

At present a woman born in March 1950 starts receiving her state pension at 60. After the changes, a women just over 4 years younger will have to wait until the age of 66 before claiming. Opponents of the bill say that there is not enough time for them to make up any difference from personal savings.

What can I do if I’m affected?

Not a lot. Once the Finance Bill becomes law your only option is to start saving more for your retirement. One glimmer of hope is that Iain Duncan Smith has said he is "willing to work to get this transition right" amid concerns over the "relatively small number of women" set to be disadvantaged. However, details about any transitional arrangements have yet to be announced.

Image: Adam Hickmott /

  1. I agree – let’s do a petition. We should unite and fight. Men are making all the decisions for us. We are loosing money and we have worked hard for it so why should we be punished. Cuts should be made to people who have not worked. The Government should be making cuts on foriegn aid, military, immigration should be frozen for next 10 years, no salary rises for anyone earning more than £50,000, all young people should do one year army/navy service to learn decipline and responsibility, get fit, etc. Most benefits should be contributory based and Britain should take the role model of Hong Kong and let the private sector grow so it can make money for all and the economy will grow. There is too much taxation and too many public sector workers – why don’t the politicians do what is right and bring Britain back to being “great” again?

  2. I think it is disgraceful that at the age of 56 the finishing line has been changed. As the lady above states this has now been done to her twice and it’s mostly men making these decisions. Totally, totally wrong. Why penalise the ladies who have worked all their lives paying taxes etc. Why give £70m to Uganda last year so that the Ugandan president can buy a £30m private jet. It’s about time the government in these current economic times started thinking about the people of England first.

  3. I am a 56 year old lady and think it is extremely unfair because in effect I and may other ladies have been caught twice by this pension change, first we were due to get our pension at 60, then it was gradually phased and it became for me 64 and now without much notice, it is 66. Ladies let’s start a petition.

    1. I only found out myself in early March about this, and like you was shocked and angry. I was born in Jan 1954 (the worst affected year!) and had already seen my retirement age change from 60 to 63 year’s and 10 month’s. The proposed changes meant a second delay of 20 months. Some women born March 1954 will have a 2 year delay!. I’m not a union person, but union’s together had a pepition
      ‘Hand’s off our pension’s’ and thousand’s of people signed and we bombarded our MP’s but the pension’s bill has now had it’s 2nd reading, and then it went to a committee. I watched it online, and really it’s shocking how MP’s (coalition) came over as arrogant and uncaring, about us women who’ve been so unfairly targeted twice. I think many women still don’t know their retirement’s will be delayed again!

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