Pensions Minister Baroness Altmann has stated that letters containing vital information concerning changes to the women’s State Pension age were ‘clear’.
The declaration came as thousands of women revealed that they felt ill-informed regarding the change.
A large number of women aged 50 and above said that they have experienced hardship as a result of the changes to the State Pension.
However, in response, the Pensions Minister said that adverts placed in magazines and papers should have informed pensioners about the rule changes.
Some have stated that they have had to put their retirement plans on hold. Others started a petition, which garnered over 100,000 signatures – enough for a Parliamentary debate to be held on the matter.
During the debate, Shailesh Vara, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: ‘We cannot look at the changes to women’s State Pension age without also acknowledging the significant changes in life expectancy in recent years, the huge progress made in opening up employment opportunities for women and the wider package of reforms’.
Those women born after 6 April 1951 will see their retirement age gradually raised, and should have been warned that they would not receive a State Pension once they reached 60. However, some have complained that they received very little notice.
From 6 April 2016, eligible retirees will be able to claim the new State Pension if:
· they are a man born on or after 6 April 1951
· they are a woman born on or after 6 April 1953.
Those who reach State Pension age before 6 April 2016 will receive the current State Pension.
By 2020, the State Pension age will reach 66, with the women’s pension age coming into line with men’s.