The Government's proposal to increase the age at which women get the state pension at a quicker pace than previously planned is "grossly unfair and disproportionate", according to Saga.
The proposed changes will increase the state pension age to 66 for both women and men, but because the pension age for women is currently lower than for men, it will have to increase more rapidly, putting pressure on women who will have to wait up to an additional two years to get the state pension.
Dr. Ros Altmann, director-general of over 50s financial services provider The Saga Group, called these proposals "insensitive" , showing a "lack of appreciation of the impact on women" and require an "essential rethink."
The changes, which, if they get passed by Parliament, will affect men and women born between 6 April 1953 and 5 April 1960, mean that women's pension age will increase to 65 between April 2016 and November 2018, having only started to increase gradually from 60 to 65 in April this year, whereas men's pension age is already 65.
DrAltman said that the proposed changes will penalise at least half a million women who will have to wait longer for their state pension, and warns that they are not adequately prepared to do so.
"Such unfairness cannot be allowed to stand and women cannot be treated so callously by the state pension system," she said, adding that this is an example of a policy designed by men, who "fail to understand women's lives".
The Government said the increase is, in part, to reflect the fact that people are living longer. In its report into the state pension age it said: "To help ensure sustainability of the system over the long term the Government will also consider future increases to the state pension age and how best to manage the ongoing challenges of longevity."
Dr Altman demands that the Government finds other methods by which to save the £10million it said it will raise by increasing the state pension age in this way, and that the changes would be a double blow to women:
"We are calling on the Government to rethink its plans. These women have already had to accept one rise in pension age but to do this to them again, with little notice, is unacceptable."
© Fair Investment Company Ltd
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