Gender inequality in single tier pension plans

The quickfire nature of the evidence sessions at the Pensions Bill’s committee stages meant I was unable to highlight, when appearing before MPs yesterday, what I think is one of the main problems with the government’s proposals. Because the ‘single tier’ state pension is being introduced at a time when male and female state pension ages (SPAs) remain unequal, it means many men will have access to the new system while women born on the same day will not.

There are estimated to be 700,000 women in this position, a quarter of whom have already reached their SPA, born between 6 April 1951 and 5 April 1953.

The common assumption is that these women will get around £30 less per week as they retire in the old system, compared to what they could have got under the new rules (the difference between the basic state pension and the likely single tier rate). This isn’t accurate in most cases – but there will still be big losers resulting from this policy, and the government has essentially concealed the information it has about this impact.

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Image: Ryan Morrison