UK Waspi pension campaign: Minister says women born in the 1950s who are affected by transitional state pension arrangements should use "other benefits" like jobseekers allowance

Jessica Morris
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The Waspi petition has triggered a series of debates (Source: Getty)

An MP has said today that women who are losing out from changes to the state pension age can rely on other benefits, such as jobseeker's allowance.

The comment was made during a debate in Parliament over whether women born in the 1950s were properly notified by the government that the age at which they could retire would rise.

Shailesh Vara, who is a work and pensions minister, said that transitional arrangements should be considered in the broader context. He added that there are a “whole lot of other benefits” available to those affected, including going to the job centre.

Ian Blackford, SNP's pension spokesperson, hit back saying: “[The government] wants women to go to the job centre rather than what they should be doing: collecting a pension they’re entitled to."

The debate took place after an online petition, launched by campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality's (WASPI), received over 100,000 signatures. It's one of a series triggered by the petition, entitled "Make fair transitional state pension arrangements for 1950’s women".

Women born after April 1953 are having their state pension age raised by up to 18 months as part of plans to make it 66 by 2020, bringing it in line with that of men.

WASPI agrees with making the state pension age equal for both men and women, but argues that the way these changes have been implemented have left many unable to adapt their retirement plans quickly enough to cover the years their state pension payments would be effectively delayed by.

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