A United Nations committee has urged the government to ensure the increase in state pension age does not have a discriminatory impact on women. In its comments on the UK’s eighth periodic report, published on March 11, the UN committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women expressed its concern regarding the increase in the state pension age for women from 60 to 66.
It stated that the several legislative changes had affected the pension entitlements of women born in the 1950s, and were contributing to “poverty, homelessness and financial hardship among the affected women”. Backto60, a campaign group requesting the state pension age be kept at 60 for women born in the 1950s, gave evidence to the committee.
Along with other campaign groups like Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi), Backto60 is arguing the changes had contributed to perceived ‘inequality and unfair treatment’ of women born in the 1950s.
The groups claim when the 1995 Conservative government’s Pension Act included plans to increase the women’s state pension age to 65 – the same as men’s – the changes were implemented unfairly, with little or no personal notice. The movements also claim the changes were implemented faster than promised with the 2011 Pension Act, and left women with no time to make alternative plans, leading to devastating consequences.