Personal Pension  

Bill amendment got thumbs down in Commons

In a 12-page paper released last week by the House of Commons Library, it was found that pensions minister Steve Webb had recently rejected calls by the shadow pensions minister to conduct a review that would help the thousands of women caught out by changes to the state pension age.

In the records of the debate on the Pensions Bill, Gregg McClymont moved an amendment at the public bill committee stage. It called for the government to conduct a review to determine whether all women born on or after 6 April 1951 should be included within the scope of the single-tier pension.

The proposed changes to the single-tier pension applied to men born on or after 6 April 1951 and women born on or after 6 April 1953.

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It meant that women born between 6 April 1951 and 5 April 1953 would not be eligible for a single-tier pension, unlike men born at the same time.

While Mr Webb – who had campaigned on behalf of women’s pensions equality before the general election in 2010 – said he agreed that these women were “uniquely disadvantaged”. He added that it was “too difficult” to conduct a review within six months of royal assent and make any needed changes to the primary legislation before the implementation of the single-tier state pension by April 2016.

The amendment was defeated by eight votes to four.

Adviser view

Jason Butler, managing director of London-based Bloomsbury Financial Planning, said: “Women have had a raw deal on pensions over the years.

“The reality is that there are more changes coming in shortly and this whole issue of making sure that people are fully pensioned is not going to go away.

“Whether women are married or single, they should be looking at every angle to secure their future. If they can, they should buy additional voluntary contributions and top up their savings.”