10 state pension facts for 50s-born women
PUBLISHED: 20:00 26 June 2019
Changes to the state pension age have acutely affected women born in the 1950s, leaving many unable to manage as they are left with scant or no income.
1. 1909: The first state pension began, paid to people over 70.
2. 1925: pensions were paid at 65 with couples receiving an increased amount.
3. 1940: the state pension age for men remained 65 but became 60 for women.
4. 1995: it was announced that state pension age would be equalised at 65 for men and women. The timetable for the changes to women's state pension age was to begin in 2010 and end in equality in 2020. It was calculated, therefore, that women had at least 15 years' notice of the changes ... except they were so badly publicised that a lot of women remained unaware of them.
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5. 2007: the Labour government brought in changes to raise the state pension age for men and women in graduated steps to 66, 67 and then 68. This was due to begin in 2024.
6. 2010: the Conservative coalition government accelerated the changes. The rise to 66 would now be completed by 2020 (despite the coalition government having previously said this rise would not begin to happen until 2020).
7. 2011: the Pensions Bill set out the planned changes which meant that women's state pension age would rise to 65 by November 2018 with the pension age for both men and women rising to 66 by April 2020. While men would have to wait at most another year, many women would have to wait longer than that.
8. 2018: Two women affected by the changes took their cases to court, seeking a judicial review and won. They argued they were not given sufficient notice of the state pension changes. Judicial review is a legal process by which individuals can challenge decisions made by public authorities on the basis that they are unlawful, irrational, unfair or disproportionate.
9. 2019: The judicial review took place in early June. We are currently awaiting the high court ruling.
10. Since the increase in women's state pension age (SPA) there has been a huge increase in the numbers of women claiming state benefits because they have been unable to find employment to carry them through to SPA.