Richard Arkless MP for Dumfries and Galloway, has asked women born in the 1950’s to get in touch with him to join the UK wide campaign against the unfair changes to the state pension age.

The changes to the state pension were introduced by the coalition government in the 2007 Pensions Act with the intention of equalising the state pension age for both men and women from 65 to 66 between the years 2024 and 2026.

The 2007 Act gave all affected women 17 years notice of this change but in 2011, the government accelerated pension age equalisation for women, meaning that those affected now had as little as 5 years to adjust life plans to acclimate this change.

The pension changes will affect all women born on or after 6th April 1951 and mean that hundreds of thousands of women who had expected to receive their pension at 60, will now have to wait until they are 66.

Mr Arkless said that the equalisation of pensions for both men and women is not the issue, his concern lies with the way the changes are being implemented which he says is having a “devastating impact” on the lives of many older women.

Mr Arkless went on to say:

“This concerns all women regardless of background, career or where abouts in the UK they live.

“For women who expected to be retiring at 60 to find out with only fives years notice, that they will not receive any pension until the age of 66 is unacceptable.

“It does not give them sufficient time to make alternative plans for their retirement and it has had devastating consequences for thousands of older women.”

Mr Arkless added:

“It must be remembered that a pension is not a benefit, it is an earned entitlement.

“Through making NI contributions all their working lives these women have entered into a contact, but that contact has been suddenly changed at short notice and to the extreme detriment of these women.”

WASPI, Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), is an action group that is campaign against these changes demanding that the government “put all women born in the 1950’s (on or after 6 April 1951) affected by the changes to the State Pension Age in exactly the same financial position they would have been in if they had been born on or before 5 April 1950”.

WASPI have collected over 120,000 signatures on a petition urging the government make fair transitional arrangements for all the women who have been unfairly affected by the increase to the State Pension Age.

Parliament will debate this petition in the House of Commons on Monday 1st February.

Mr Arkless added:
“We brought this issue to the attention to the House of Commons in our opposition day debate recently, where we were able to defeat the Government – we are hoping that defeat will mean they will start to listen.”
“I would urge any women who live in my constituency and were born in the 1950s to contact me – I will be able to get them certainty in terms of how the changes affect them and also add their voice to our campaign. The easiest way to contact me is by email on [email protected].”

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