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16 Mar 2016

MPs advise women should receive state pension early

A committee of MPs has recommended that the government consider allowing some women to access their state pensions early and receive lower weekly payments, BBC News reports.

The proposal being put forward by the Work and Pensions Select Committee would affect thousands of women who say they were not given enough time to prepare for the increased pension age, which will rise from 60 to 66 by 2020.

According to the group, the change - if put in place - would not cost the Treasury any extra money, but would help many women throughout the UK. However, Simon Gompertz - the BBC´s personal finance correspondent - says that recalculating pensions based on the old way would cost the taxpayer billions of pounds.

It is estimated that 500,000 women born in the 1950s have seen a steep rise in the age at which they can retire, and ministers have been put under increasing pressure to help in the interim.

The committee´s report suggests that women in this demographic could claim their pension earlier than scheduled, in return for slightly reduced weekly payments during their retirement years. The reduction would be calculated so that over the pensioners´ lifetimes, there would be no extra cost to the public.

Committee chairman Frank Field, a Labour MP, feels that more thought needs to be given before the implementation of such a scheme, but he did express his wish that the idea would “open up debate” about the issue among MPs.

So far, the government has refused to budge on the subject but says that it will respond to the committee´s latest proposal in due course.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said that female retirees can expect to receive a pension for four more years than men, and that it had taken “action to limit the maximum change to State Pension age to 18 months, a concession worth over £1billion.”

Copyright M2 Bespoke 2016

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