Pension campaigners hit out at fresh shake-up over retirement age

Norfolk Broads PAIN group leaders

Norfolk Broads PAIN group leaders Lynn Nicholls, Annette James, and Lorraine White. - Credit: Jessica Frank-Keyes

A group of women campaigning over changes which delayed their pensions have hit out at potential reforms which could see another generation forced to retire later.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced a further review of the state pension age on Tuesday - which could mean an increase in the state retirement age to 68 for all could be brought forward by seven years.

The state pension age is currently 66 and two further increases are set out in legislation - a graded rise to 67 for those born on or after April 1960 and a rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 1977.

But the latest review will consider whether the increase to 68 should be brought forward to 2037 to 2039.

The Norfolk Broads - Pension Action in Norfolk (PAIN) group has spent years campaigning over changes which meant women born in the 1950s, who expected to retire at the age of 60, have had to wait longer.

In July, an ombudsman report highlighted failings in the way those changes were handled by the DWP and found there had been maladministration.

Further stages of the process will assess whether an injustice was caused, and, if so, what recommendations the ombudsman would make to remedy it.

And Annette James, Lynn Nicholls and Lorraine White, from the PAIN group, said they hoped, if the government does make more changes, it communicates much better with those affected than it did their age group.

They said: "We live with the damage of poorly communicated previous state pension age changes every day.

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"People may be living longer, though that is questioned by some experts, but it does not mean their health is good and they are capable of working for longer.

"More of our group are reaching their state pension age of 66 now.

"We still have not heard the ombudsman's findings on the second and third stages of our maladministration claims.

"It feels too late for us, so we are increasingly focussing on ensuring that young people realise there may not even be a state pension for them and encouraging them to make private pension and savings provision for their old age."

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