Alliance Party Deputy Leader Naomi Long MP is campaigning to assist people who will be worst affected by the government’s plans to equalise the State Pension Age two years earlier than they had previously promised to. The changes that the coalition are proposing to their original plans will mean that the equalisation will happen in 2018, not 2020, and across the UK 333,000 women born between December 1953 and October 1954 will see their State Pension Age increase by 18 months or longer.
Naomi Long MP said: “This is an issue of social justice and while we all know that the pension age will have to rise, it is incumbent on the government to stick to their original pledge and not put a section of society under unfair pressure.
“A number of women in East Belfast have contacted me about this and they are concerned about the implications of this move. I have written to the relevant Westminster Ministers about this and I believe that it is deeply unfair that a particular age group will suffer very severely as a result of this change in government plans. The government are simply not giving the 330,000 women affected enough time to prepare for the new circumstances.
“There are challenges around the issue of pensions in the coming years; however, moving the goalposts for a section of society that have worked all their lives and planned according to current pension age is totally unacceptable. I hope that the government can see the inequalities that they will create and can see the ramifications for the 333,000 women born between December 1953 and October 1954 who will see their State Pension Age increase by 18 months or longer because of this change in policy.
“Many people who planned for retirement in the near future now face a major problem in terms of their financial situation because of the government’s move to speed up the equalisation of the pension age. We need to see the government stick to their original plans because it would be unfair for them not to do so.” EN