Fresh concerns raised over pension equality impact on women

Today (November 6th) is the landmark day when women begin to qualify for a state pension at the age of 65, the same as men. However, the occasion has prompted fresh concern that the move simply masks ongoing inequality in terms of the retirement incomes women can expect to receive. 

Former Pensions Minister Baroness Altmann said, "Women in their 50s and older have lost out most, but younger women face penalties too, as all pensions - state, workplace and private pensions - discriminate against women. Some of the inequalities date back many decades, but others are new problems created by recent legislation." She cited as an example the fact that auto-enrolment excludes those earning under £10,000 a year; most likely to be women working part-time. 

The concerns of women over 50 - the group hit hardest by the acceleration in 2011 of the equalisation of the state pension age - prompted the formation of Women Against State Pension Inequality. Although legislation to equalise pensions was passed in 1995, women still received pensions at 60 as late as 2010. They will also see the pension age rise to 66 in line with men in 2020.