Rushanara Ali MP hits out at damaging pension reforms

Rushanara Ali MP has warned that hundreds of women in Bethnal Green and Bow are set to lose out as a result of the Government’s pensions reforms, as House of Commons Library research released by Labour revealed the true cost of last week’s announcement by the Government.

Four hundred local women born in 1952 and 1953 will not be eligible for the single tier pension since they are due to retire in 2017, before the state pension reforms come into effect.

The news comes after the Government claimed that it would be fully transparent about the changes, yet they failed to make clear the full consequences of the planned reforms.

Rushanara said: “Ministers have been caught red-handed hiding the truth on pensions reforms.

“This Government’s pensions changes have hit hardworking women in my constituency time and again and these reforms are no different. 400 women will be nearly £2,000 worse off compared to men, but instead of being honest with the women that will lose out this government tried to bury the truth.

“Once again Ministers have been caught with their hands in pensioners pockets – it’s about time this government had the decency to be honest about who will lose out under their plans.”

Women born between April 1952 and July 1953 will retire before 2017 and will not be eligible for the single tier pension. For example, a woman born in October 1952 will retire at age 63 in 2015. This means that she will draw the basic weekly pension of £107.45 (in today’s prices) when she retires.

However, men born in the same period are due to retire in 2017, and so will be eligible for the new single-tier rate.

Losers from state pension reform

House of Commons Library research shows that 430,000 women born between April 1952 and July 1953 could lose out in this way.

The House of Commons Library estimates this will mean that 400 women in the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency will be affected.

This could mean that women draw a state pension income of around £1,900 a year (£36.55 a week) less than a man of the same age. The exact difference will depend on the number of contributions each woman has made, and whether she receives means-tested benefits or not.