Age Concern worried by "forgotten generation" of women

09 February 2007
Almost one in four women over 65 say it is "very difficult" to cope financially due to the way the pensions system penalises women who worked as unpaid carers, a new report from charity Age Concern finds.

According to the survey, half of women over 65 are constantly careful with money while 800,000 continue to work beyond the retirement age of 60 to support themselves.

"Older women are in danger of becoming a forgotten generation," warned Age Concern's director-general, Gordon Lishman.

The charity is calling for the systemic weighting against women who care for children or elderly relatives instead of working formally to be eliminated.

Although the threshold for receiving a full state pension will be lowered from 39 years in work to 30 years under government legislation to be introduced in 2010, Age Concern is adamant that these measures should also apply retrospectively, allowing today's generation of women in retirement to benefit.

Yesterday, Liberal Democrat shadow work and pensions secretary David Laws added his backing to the call.

"The cliff edge effect created by the changes to pension entitlements for carers means women just a few years apart in age will face a vastly different financial future," he said.

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