Pensions - Articles - Comment on high court ruling on womens state pension age


Steve Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon comments following the high court ruling on the increases to the women’s state pension age, where campaigners challenging government's changes to state pension age for women have lost their case. The court ruled there was “no basis for concluding that the policy choices reflected in the legislation were not open to government

 The Backto60 group was seeking repayment of all the pensions people born in the 1950s would have received if they had been able to retire earlier.

 • Women affected by the increase in the state pension age have had to face a significant change to their retirement aspirations.
 • For such a change, there needs to be very clear, timely and personalised communications.
 • However, had the state pension age for women not been brought into line with that for men it would have placed a massive and unsustainable extra burden on the working age population, whose National Insurance contributions pay today’s state pensions.

 Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon comments: “If starting with a blank sheet of paper, very few people would argue that males and females should be treated differently, whether in terms of pay or in this case state pensions. The problem is whenever changes are implemented to address an inequality, one party tends to be ‘disadvantaged’ by the change, relative to the other. The millions of women affected by the increase in state pension age have had to face a significant change to their lives and retirement aspirations. For such a huge change, there needs to be very clear, timely and personalised communications and clearly there were failings here. But had the state pension age for women not been brought into line with that for men and indeed the common age increased further as is now happening, at a time when we are on average living longer, it would have placed a massive and unsustainable extra burden on the working age population, whose National Insurance contributions pay today’s state pensions.

 “In an era where private pensions now offer the flexibility to take as much or as little out from as early as age 55, there would be merit in offering not just affected women but everyone regardless of gender the option to take their state pension a few years early subject to it being set at a reduced level to reflect it being paid for longer. While many would argue this doesn’t go far enough to address the hardship a generation of women are facing, it would at least offer more options to choose from.”

 
  

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