Pen­sions warn­ing to women

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

A Burn­side woman is warn­ing lo­cal women not to be caught out by pen­sion changes.

Anne Pot­ter, 62, has be­come in­volved with WASPI (Women Against State Pen­sion In­equal­ity), who are cam­paign­ing against the changes to the state pen­sion age, which par­tic­u­larly af­fects women born in the 1950s.

The is­sue goes back to the Pen­sions Act in 1995, which in­cluded plans to raise the women’s state pen­sion age to 65, the same as men.

The state pen­sion age has now in­creased to 66 and the 2011 Pen­sions Act brought the timetable for the plans for­ward, mean­ing the state pen­sion age is set to reach 65 for women by Novem­ber 2018 and 66 by 2020.

Women born on or af­ter April 6, 1951, face hav­ing to wait longer than ex­pected to draw their state pen­sion.

That has an­gered many women, who have found the state pen­sion age is go­ing up faster than they ex­pected dur­ing their work­ing lives.

Anne, who works for an ex­hi­bi­tion de­sign com­pany, said:“I only heard about the changes on the BBC morn­ing news when one of the WASPI founders was be­ing in­ter­viewed.

“The aim of the cam­paign is to get the govern­ment to, at the very least, re­view the changes.

“The govern­ment did not make th­ese changes aware to me or to the two and a half mil­lion peo­ple in my age group, which is why we’re an­noyed and an­gry. It’s not al­low­ing me proper prepa­ra­tion to get ready for my pen­sion.

“When I first started work I was 17 and I was told that I would have to re­tire aged 60.

“Then the ini­tial changes made it 62 and, al­though I wasn’t happy, I ac­cepted it.

“But a fur­ther four years is some­thing that I’m re­ally un­happy about.

“You start to make plans, you ex­pect to have your state pen­sion and go from there so it seems un­fair.”

Part of the WASPI anger re­lates to how the in­for­ma­tion has been com­mu­ni­cated.

They be­lieve that the plans be­ing brought in quicker than ex­pected have caught out many women and that there are some lo­cals who have missed the news.

Anne added: “If you’re a woman born in the 1950s then you’re not go­ing to get your pen­sion when you’re ex­pect­ing it and women might not recog­nise that they’re go­ing to be af­fected.

“There’s women in that gen­er­a­tion who don’t have Face­book or use the in­ter­net very much and might not have been con­tacted about this.”

The cam­paign has been backed by lo­cal MP Mar­garet Fer­rier.

WASPI’s cur­rent pe­ti­tion to “make fair tran­si­tional state pen­sion ar­range­ments for 1950s women”can be found at pe­ti­tion.par­lia­ pe­ti­tions/110776.

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