Sammy Calls For Action On Pension Impact On 1950s Women
Speaking in a debate in Westminster on Wednesday 5 July on the issue of the impact of pension age changes on women born in the early 1950s Sammy, the DUP Treasury Spokesman said ;
During the last Parliament we committed to supporting the cause of the WASPI women who found that as a result of changes in pension regulations in 1995 and 2011 that some would have their pension age increased by up to 6 years. While we understand and support the reasons for increasing the pension age and equalising the age of retirement between men and women, we believe that a large number of women, tens of thousands in Northern Ireland and over two million across the UK have been unfairly treated.
The unfairness arises because Conservative, Labour and Liberal democrat Governments did not give sufficient notice of the changes to the women affected. In fact some found out a couple of years before they thought they were eligible for their pension. This breached all the commitments, official standards and treatment which the government would have expected other pension providers to follow. As a result some of these women are either left without any means of support, are being forced out to work at an age when opportunities are very limited, have to draw on their savings if they have any or have to rely on their husband’s pension or income.
The Government cannot ignore this issue. Whilst we understand the financial problems faced by the Government and the cost or simply dispensing with the pension changes would cost an impossible to find £77bn, we do believe that there are ways of helping these women until they reach the new pension age of 66 which would be affordable. These options must be explored, the women most affected and vulnerable to hardship should be prioritised and costings of the possible remedies should be made.
We are committed to working on a cross party basis and use what influence we have with the Government to deliver on our manifesto commitment to find a fair outcome for these women.