Almost a quarter of a century after it was first mooted, the women’s state pension age has hit 65, reaching a level equal to that of men. The rise in women’s state pension age started in 2010, before which it could be claimed at 60.
The original plan was to increase the age gradually from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020, but this was accelerated by the Pensions Act 2011. A move towards age 66 for both men and women will follow over the next couple of years.
There are a number of anomalies with the new timetable. All women born between 6 November and 5 December 1953 would have reached state pension age on 6 November 2018. So it will have dropped back by up to a month for some.
From there, implementation continues in a not-so-equitable manner (see table).
Those born between 6 December 1953 and 5 January 1954 will get their state pension on 6 March 2019. That is age 65 years and two months for some but 65 years and three months for others.
The theme continues, with those born between 6 January and 5 February 1954 reaching state pension age on 6 May 2019 – between 65 years and three months and 65 years and four months old. And so it goes on, until those born between 6 September and 5 October 1954 get their benefits on 6 September 2020.
After that, people will get their state pension on their 66th birthday. That is until we start the next move upwards to age 67, which is due to take place between 2026 and 2028, affecting those born after 5 April 1960. The current plan is for a further increase to age 68 between 2044 and 2046 – relevant to those born from 6 April 1977 – but it seems inevitable this will be brought forward.
Meanwhile, although pension ages are equalising, there remain significant differences in state pension payments themselves.
DWP figures show the average pension paid to men is £153.97 a week, compared with £126.72 paid to women. There remains a need for many people – especially women – to notify DWP if they are caring for elderly relatives or grandchildren to claim any credits.
State pensions remain the bedrock of retirement income, but they are complex and the position is constantly changing.
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