I believe that we need a pensions system that is fair to everyone that has contributed, that is sustainable and that provides the security and dignity we all expect in retirement. I appreciate, therefore, that many pensioners and those approaching retirement are concerned about some of the Government's recent changes to the pensions system.
I am very concerned about the impact these changes could have on women born in the mid-1950s who may now have to wait longer than expected to claim their pension. Many people affected by these changes have been unable to make contingency plans or adjust in the time frame set out in the Pension Act 2011.
During the last Parliament Labour MPs did press the Government on the impact these changes could have on women born in the mid-1950s, including the 500,000 women who will have to wait more than a year to receive their pension and the 33,000 who will have to wait two years. In light of this the Government did make some concessions but I would have liked to have seen further progress on this, including changes to ensure that women were not disproportionately affected. As you may be aware, the Government have recently stated they do not have any plans to revisit this.
I also appreciate that concerns have been raised about the Government's implementation of the single-tier pension, which could see around 700,000 women born between 1951 and 1953 lose out. I believe the Government should review how this particular group of women will be affected by its implementation.
I know that a number of groups have raised concerns about these important issues over a number of years and I hope the Government listen and respond. I also hope the Government will help provide information and advice for those affected by these changes and who may be understandably concerned about potential loss of income in their retirement.