Pension issue raised at parliament by MP

WOMEN born in 1953 and 1954 will be unfairly affected by proposed reforms to pensions, Eastbourne’s MP has told Parliament.

Stephen Lloyd spoke in the House of Commons on Monday while MPs were debating the Pensions Bill and has also written to Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Vince Cable and Chancellor George Osborne to express his concerns.

The Bill suggests bringing forward the equalisation of the retirement age of 65 for both men and woman to 2018, before increasing it to 66 by 2020. Previously, the equalisation was due to take place in 2020, with the increase to 66 happening gradually over the following four years.

However, Mr Lloyd said that, under the current proposals, women born between December 1953 and October 1954 will have their state pension age increased by 18 months or more, with 33,000 women born between March 6 and April 5 1954 will see theirs go up by two years.

Mr Lloyd added, “I totally recognise and support the need for reform to the state pension retirement age.

“However the speed of the changes the government is proposing will adversely and, in my view, unfairly, affect a large number of women.

“I have already written to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chancellor among others, asking them to consider this particular group and calling for provisions to be made in the Bill to ensure they are treated fairly. During Monday’s debate, I called for the government not to bring forward the equalisation of the state pension age, as I will continue to do as the Bill proceeds through Parliament, until a fair compromise can be found. The response from the pensions minister [Steve Webb] at the end of the debate, and the mood music I am picking up in Parliament, says that my concerns and those of other backbench Liberal Democrat colleagues are being taken on board and we should see some movement on this as the Bill enters the committee stage.”