Debate: Following the IFS study on poverty among older women, is it fair to call the way the state pension has been reformed sexist?
YES – Jane Cowley is communications director of Waspi (Women Against State Pension Inequality)
It has been women who have borne the brunt of state pension reforms, which have been improperly implemented by successive governments.
Women born in the 1950s, like me, were not given adequate notice of increases to the state pension age, leaving us with little or no time to prepare.
Some had less than a year’s notice of a six-year increase, while men had six years to prepare for an increase of just one year.
We have faced this pattern of discrimination throughout our working lives. Until the 1990s, many women weren’t allowed to join company pension schemes, and others left their jobs early to take on caring responsibilities.
We now find ourselves back in a job market where there are very few opportunities for older women, or forced into claiming benefits.
Our generation led the way in the fight for equal rights, but sadly when it comes to pensions, we’re still not there yet.
NO – Claire Trott is head of pensions strategy at Technical Connection
I find it totally bemusing that people are arguing this reform is sexist when its aim is to create equality.
I am someone who has actively shunned positive discrimination in my education and career because it is still discrimination, even if the intentions are good.
By positively discriminating against one person, there is always another that will be negatively discriminated against in return. The state pension is no different to any other issue in our lives today. It is essential, but expensive to provide, which means it should all be on a level playing field.
As someone with many years to go before I am eligible, I expect the goal posts to move again.
If I work until I am 68, which is my current state pension age, I will have contributed for 52 years, which is way in excess of the 35 years needed for a full state pension now.
But I will receive it at the same age as a man in my position would. And I am comfortable with that.