State Pension age increases and how they impact women is an issue which has been brought to the fore by WASPI, otherwise known as Women Against State Pension Inequality. The Pensions Act 1995 outlined the state pension age for women would increase from 60 to 65 from April 2010 to 2020. However, this change was then accelerated under the Pensions Act 2011, meaning women’s state pension age reached 65 by November 2018.
The changes led to a campaign by WASPI and other groups that women born in the 1950s have been adversely affected – due to the fact they believe they were not given ample notice.
One prominent way women have been affected, it is argued, is through their financial circumstances.
And with some reporting being required to claim benefits to help, government statistics have shown an increase in claims over the last few years.
Between May 2013 and May 2019, the number of women over the age of 60 claiming benefits such as Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance increased.
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A rise in state pension age has meant many women have had to reckon with less time in receipt of their pension than they may have originally planned.
One 1950s born woman said poverty had become a “key issue” for many women affected by the state pension age change.
And another tweeted: “There is a huge section of WASPI women made redundant when they near 60 and unable to get work in this crisis, and unable to access benefits.”
Another campaign group, Backto60, took their case to court recently, arguing there had been discrimination against them.
However, the case to the Court of Appeal was unanimously dismissed earlier this month.
Meanwhile, though, one 1950s woman told Gloucestershire Live her claim of Universal Credit made her feel degraded.
Helen Kemp told the newspaper: “I still have bills to pay, so there’s nothing else to do but sign up for Universal Credit.”
For those who have been financially independent all their lives, claiming benefits may prove a shock.
But for those who do wish to see if they can claim any benefits to assist them, there is help at hand.
The WASPI website redirected 1950s women towards a benefit calculator from the organisation entitled.
The independent calculator allows Britons to check their entitlement and provides information on income-related benefits.
To use such a tool, people will generally need key pieces of information at their disposal.
These include information about savings, income, any existing benefits and pensions, outgoings and a council tax bill.