What a difference a day makes

I’ve been working on press stuff for my campaign on fairer pensions for women. It’s one of those issues that is really simple and yet the Government’s just not doing anything to sort out. First the good news – the Government has recognised that women, particularly women now approaching retirement, often have more patchy work history than men, with time out to raise kids, care for other relatives, etc. And so they are changing the number of years’ NI contributions you need to make to qualify for a basic state pension. But unlike most pension changes they are not phasing it in, but doing it big bang style. So if you are 60 on 6 April 2010 or later, you’re a winner. But if you turn 60 even one day earlier, not a penny extra. Given that the whole point of the change is to tackle pensioner poverty, it seems really mean that these slightly older women will miss out.

Ironically it is the generation of Gordon Brown (born 1951) and Peter Hain (born 1950) who are caught in this date trap. I hope they’ll move on this issue – there’s an online petition if you want to add your voice.

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