MP welcomes pension changes

AFTER raising the issue of pension changes at Prime Minister’s Questions, Sir Alan Beith MP welcomed the Government’s announcement of changes to the planned increase in the state pension age for women last week.

The Pensions Bill set out plans to equalise men and women’s pension age at 65 in November 2018, before increasing the age for both men and women to 66 in April 2020. As a result of these changes, some women were facing a pension age rise of up to two years.

Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb has now announced a £1.1 billion amendment to the Bill to ensure that no-one faces an increase in pension age of more than 18 months.

Sir Alan said: “A number of my constituents wrote to me expressing their concern about the change and this announcement demonstrates the Government’s commitment to responding to these concerns.

“Many men and women across the North East will benefit from this move, giving them more time to plan for their retirement than under the original proposals.

“My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I were deeply concerned that some women were facing steep rises in the pension age, without giving them time to prepare for the changes and I was anxious to ensure progress was being made, which is why I raised it with the Prime Minister.

“I welcome the hard work which Steve Webb has been doing behind the scenes to improve the Bill for the women most affected.”