The SNP was very strongly represented on an issue we are leading on at Westminster.
The 2011 Pensions Act accelerated the timetable for increasing women’s State Pension age. Women will see a rise in pensionable age from 63 to 65 between April 2016 and November 2018, and from 65 to 66 by October 2020. These changes impact on 240,000 Scottish women, 3,800 of whom reside in Cunninghame North.
Women impacted must wait longer than anticipated to receive the State Pension. What’s more, the UK Tory Government gave these women almost no notice to prepare for these changes. In many cases, individuals have not received any notification, throwing retirement plans into chaos
The report by Landman Economics http://www.landman-economics.co.uk/ models five different reform options for compensating women who will lose out. One option is a return to the original timetable set out in the 1995 Pensions Act, whereby women’s State Pension Age rises from 63 in March 2016 to 65 by April 2020, with no further increase to 66 until the mid-2020s. This has been costed at £8 billion, a sum dwarfed by the erroneous £30 billion figure used by Tory politicians attempting to absolve themselves of responsibility.
The National Insurance Fund is billions of pounds in surplus and can only be used to pay for contributory benefits such as the State Pension. The National Insurance Fund had a £20.9 billion surplus in March 2015 and projects a surplus of £30.7 billion next year.
The Tories have nowhere to hide anymore: they can afford to right the wrong that is impacting upon millions of women because they are being refused access to their pension and, in the interests of social justice, must take immediate action.