Pensions warning to women
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.parliament.uk/ petitions/110776.