State Pension  

Female pension claims drop after age change

Female pension claims drop after age change

The number of new female state pension claimants has dropped by more than 202,000 in a year, as the equalisation of the state pension age starts to take effect.

According to figures released today (February 19) by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), there were 12.8 million state pension recipients in August 2018, a fall of more than 113,000 claimants when compared with the same period in 2017.

While the number of male recipients increased by 89,000, the number of female claimants dropped by considerably more.

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For many years, the age at which individuals could claim state pension benefits was 65 for men and 60 for women.

But under the Pensions Act 2011 women's state pension age started to increase more quickly as previously planned, to 65, same as men's, between April 2016 and November 2018, with the exact date depending on the month the woman was born.

Further state pension increases are planned, with the age for both men and women set to rise to 66 by 2020. 

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said the figures highlighted a gender pensions gap, which would only be exacerbated by the future age increases in the state pension.

These numbers "should prompt women to think about how much they’ll need to save privately for a comfortable retirement," she said.

Regarding pension credit, the DWP stats showed there were 1.7 million recipients, or 2 million beneficiaries including partners, at the end of August. This represented a fall of 130,000 when compared with the previous year.

Almost two thirds of recipients (64 per cent) were women, and the fall was also attributed to the equalisation of pension age, the DWP stated.

FTAdviser reported in January that new pensioners whose partners are younger than the state retirement age of 65 won’t be able to claim pension credits from May 15.

The government will save £395m between 2019 and 2022 from these changes.