Leeds MP calls for pension protection

WOMEN shOULD be protected from missed pension payments worth thousands of pounds by being allowed to draw their pension credit early, a former Labour front-bencher is proposing.

Monday, 1st February 2016, 8:52 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2016, 8:59 pm
Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves.

Around 2.6 million women born in the 1950s face waiting longer for their state pension as a result of changes pushed through by the Government during the last Parliament.

Eventually men and women will claim their state pension aged 66, later rising to 67.

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said information in the House of Commons library shows affected women with the longest wait to draw their pension could be missing out on £12,000 worth of payments.

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The former shadow pensions secretary and Labour MP said: “I support the equalisation of men and women’s pension age, but the Government has not given women enough notice or time to prepare.”

She claims affected women should be able to claim pension credit at the age that they previously would have received the state pension, which was 63 or 64 years old. Pension credit is a benefit from the Government, which either tops up a weekly income, or rewards those who have saved towards their retirement with an extra payment.

Ms Reeves believes paying the credit earlier could benefit modest savings and an income of less than £8,000, and would mean affected women could top up their income if they wanted to retire or reduce the hours they work ahead of their new state pension age.

During questions to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in the House of Commons, she asked the Government to consider allowing women to draw pension credit in the transitional period. She said: “Many of the women who we are talking about are caring for elderly parents or young grandchildren.”