Labour to offer some women earlier retirement option


Pensions protest

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Changes to women’s retirement age sparked widespread protests

Labour would allow hundreds of thousands of women born in the 1950s to retire at 64 on a reduced state pension, rather than wait until 66.

Government changes to the retirement age have been “chaotic”, shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams will tell Labour’s conference later.

Many women who expected to retire at 60 must now work several years longer before receiving a state pension.

Ms Abrahams will say her plan would mean pension security for thousands.

Her change would benefit women born between 1954 and 1960.

“This will ensure that those who have suffered the consequences of this government’s chaotic mismanagement of the state pension age have the security they need,” she will tell the party’s conference in Brighton.

“We will continue to work with these women to get justice.”

Many women were caught by surprise when the timetable for moving to a later retirement age was accelerated in 2011.

The Waspi – Women Against State Pension Inequality – campaign is pushing for a transitional “bridging pension” to help women whose retirement plans have been thrown into disarray.

Labour has already promised to extend pension credit to the women affected.

In its manifesto for the June general election, the party said it was “exploring options for further transitional protections to ensure that all these women have security and dignity in older age”.

Precise financial details were not immediately available, but Ms Abrahams will say the scheme would be “cost-neutral in the long term”.

Ms Abrahams will also call for a pause in the roll-out of universal credit, to allay fears that claimants will be plunged into poverty as it is extended across the country over the next 12 months.

She argues that there is evidence of “deepening poverty” as more welfare claimants are transferred to universal credit, which replaces a range of older benefits.

She will cite reports that one in four claims are not paid within six weeks, leading to increased debt and mounting rent arrears.



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