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500 Cambridge women to lose out on state pension reforms

House of Commons Library research released by Labour reveals the true cost of last week’s pensions reforms to 500 women in Cambridge who are set to lose out.

Approximately 500 local women born in 1952 and 1953 will not be eligible for the single tier pension since they are due to retire in 2017, before the state pension reforms come into effect. Men born during the same period, however, will qualify.

The news comes after the Government claimed that “we have to be absolutely transparent [about who will lose]” yet failed to make clear the full consequences of the planned reforms.

The unraveling of this latest Pensions announcement is the second time this government has been caught trying to hide the full impact of its changes for pensioners following the Granny Tax.

Cambridge Labour Parliamentary spokesperson Daniel Zeichner says:

“Ministers have been caught red-handed hiding the truth on pensions reforms.

“This government’s welfare policies have hit women in Cambridge particularly hard and these reforms are no different. Approximately 500 women in the city alone will be nearly £2,000 worse off compared to men, and it is likely that many of these will be further penalised by the loss of the second pension. In the Greater Cambridge area, the numbers will rise to many thousands – the Government should think carefully about how to remedy this unfairness.”

Women born between April 1952 and July 1953 will retire before 2017 and will not be eligible for the single tier pension. For example, a woman born in October 1952 will retire at age 63 in 2015. This means that she will draw the basic weekly pension of £107.45 (in today’s prices) when she retires.  However, men born in the same period are due to retire in 2017, and so will be eligible for the new single-tier rate.

House of Commons Library research shows that 430,000 women born between April 1952 and July 1953 could lose out in this way.  The House of Commons Library estimates this will mean that approximately 500 women in Cambridge will be affected.  This could mean that women draw a state pension income of around £1,900 a year (£36.55 a week) less than a man of the same age. The exact difference will depend on the number of contributions each woman has made, and whether she receives means-tested benefits or not.

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