Corri Wilson MP has called on the UK Government to take immediate action to help the millions of women born in the 1950s who have been denied their pension.
The call follows the unveiling of independent research showing Tory figures on pension inequality are wrong.
The Pensions Act 1995 legislated for the planned age rise to take place between April 2010 and 2020, but the Pensions Act 2011 accelerated the latter part of that timetable so that the state pension age for women will now reach 65 in November 2018. Many women were never told of the changes and some women will now receive their state pension years later than they expected to.
The issue, which effects almost 5,000 women in Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, has been widely debated in the House of Commons but the UK Government has refused to act – saying that, at a cost of £30 billion it would simply be too expensive to correct their mistakes of the past.
Ms Wilson has called on the Government to change tack on the issue and act to end the gross injustice these women are facing after independent research by Landman Economics found that it would cost £8 billion to return to the original timetable set out in the 1995 Pensions Act – a significantly cheaper option for the UK Government which would go some way to ending the gross injustice served to these women and would help to alleviate pensioner poverty.
Ms Wilson said: “I am hearing from women across the constituency who will lose out as a result of transitional arrangements to the new pension age. Many made solid retirement plans and are understandably upset that this change is completely undermining those plans.
“Pensions are not a privilege, they are an entitlement, and to change the goalposts so drastically such a short time from retirement puts huge pressure on people’s finances. Women across the country are struggling to make ends meet because they are being denied their pension, and they need action now.
“I agree with equalisation of the state pension age, but I cannot support the unfair manner in which the changes were made. The Government have tried to wash their hands of this crisis, but it is simply not good enough to say it costs too much. This report shows an option that would allow a return to the 1995 Pensions Act and would slow the rise of the state pension age for women to reach 65 by 2021. At £8 billion, this option is expensive but it pales in comparison to the £30 billion figure often used by Tory politicians attempting to absolve themselves of any responsibility.
“The Tories have nowhere to hide: they can afford to put this right and they must take immediate action to do so.”