Women’s Old Age Pensions in the UK – Just or ‘Unfair’?

60 and NO pension!

60 and NO pension!

Most men haven’t even noticed have they? A major change has been happened over the past four years in the UK about women’s old age pensions. An old age ‘non-contributory’ pension was in fact introduced in the UK over 100 years ago – the foundation of our Welfare system no less – and it was intended to prevent poverty in old age and was primarily to benefit women! In those distant days it was means related, rewarded at 70, only to time-honoured UK workers families & citizens – and paid (indeed at the Post Office) to well less than a million people. [Those with a habitual failure to work didn’t qualify!]

Women’s retirement age was lowered to 60 in the 1940s, while Men got their pensions, ‘contributory’ from the 1920s, much later – at 65 years of age. Why the hell was there that difference? Well, primarily because women tended, particularly in those times, to marry older men, and men were having to leave work at 65 and married couples were then try to live on a single pension!

After the War of course the bigger Welfare State kicked in and workers ‘paid-in’ more in terms of National Insurance for widespread social benefits including the NHS.

Whatever, that has all changed and our women have to wait now up to an extra 5 years to get their State pension! This has been hidden below the radar as it was actually enacted in law by the Tories under PM John Major nearly 20 years ago and the government has been steadily increasing the women’s pension age since 2010 (a month extra each month) from 60 towards 65 for all women fatefully born after 1949! For example women who reached 60 two years ago are only now eligible for their OAP – and those born in the back end of 1953 & later will have to wait the full 5 extra years! OK then, whose bright idea was it to disenfranchise women in this way? You can guess can’t you? CORRECT – it was the European Union of course (men & women HAD to be treated the same you see – so the OAP age had to be equal and there was no way would our government reduce the men’s age to 60, was there?).

Most women didn’t know it was happening to them, as it silently crept up on them and only hit them when they approached what they thought was retirement. So how do women feel about that now eh? Pretty p’d off perhaps? Pretty angry? Pretty let down? Pretty penalised? Pretty unappreciated? But is any of that emotion valid? YES. Many of them feel that they have been cheated out of their rightful pension. There was a valid ‘contract’ wasn’t there with the State going back some 40 plus years of their lives, which has been unexpectedly & summarily broken, and morally but not strictly illegally?

The change is putting many many ‘unattached’ older women in dire straights – many who have worked tirelessly themselves & brought up families, paid their taxes, been made redundant by the recession, in financial difficulties powered by our 4 years’ austerity environment, worried to the point of illness, and now face having to even sell their property to survive. In the current financial climate many men of course and married women are buttressed by additional work pensions, which enhance their finances in retirement. Undoubtedly, many women have lost out in terms of any extra state work earned NI pension when they had to take career breaks to have their children.

Well, surely there are only a few women affected, or inconvenienced, or badly damaged by the pension changes aren’t there? OK, perhaps NOT – there are over thirty thousand currently impacted by a two year delay and eventually another THREE MILLION of other female souls yet to suffer up to a five years delay!

If the Coalition Government chose, they COULD delay the implementation of pension age equalisation as well as abandoning their unexpected speed-up of pension age increases. YOU know what to do – lobby your Member of Parliament NOW!

Statistically a majority of women still link up with older men (even today men take longer to mature you see!), which means that many women’s husbands and male partners will increasingly retire, stay alone at home, and wave off their beloveds to work for some five years – creating a financial situation for women and families that our government had legislated against some seventy five years ago, when reducing women’s pension age to 60 (real progress eh?)..

Brazil still favours a gender difference in paying their pensions, but if you’re not Brazilian and if the UK is to go back to that principle and halt the current ‘harmonisation’ plans you will have to back UKIP & Nigel Farage and escape from the clutches of the EU and their directives on equality! YOUR CHOICE of course!

 

[Oh yes, there is bad news for BOTH Women and Men – the OAP age is progressively going up for BOTH to 66 and then 67, and rising to 68 (no later than 2046) starting in six years time (a change brought forward some six years by the Tory/LibDems under PM David Cameron)]

One thought on “Women’s Old Age Pensions in the UK – Just or ‘Unfair’?

  1. I am one of the many people you have mentioned in your blog who has missed out on our state pension, to say i’m pissed off is an understatement. Well done for this article.

    Like

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