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MP fights for women’s pension rights

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WARRINGTON South MP Faisal Rashid marked Pension Awareness Day taking up the cudgels on behalf of 1950s-born women unfairly affected by changes to the state pension.
He wrote to TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, calling on her to support the women.
Under the 1995 Pensions Act, a timetable was drawn up to equalise the age at which men and women could draw the state pension. In the 2011 Pensions Act, the new qualifying age of 65 for women was brought forward to 2018 – a move that has seen 3.9 million 1950’s women lose out.
The 2011 Act also accelerated the state pension rises, adding a further year to women’s state pension age from 65 to 66.
Campaigners have argued that the vast majority of women born in this era were paid substantially less than their male counterparts and were often expected to sacrifice their professional careers to raise families.
More than 6,000 women have been affected by changes to the State Pension age in Warrington South alone, says Mr Rashid. They were not given fair notification of the changes and some received no notice at all. As a result of the changes, many are struggling financially and several have been left destitute, despite having worked for their entire lives drawing little or no state benefits.
Earlier this year, Mr Rashid wrote to Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman to share with him how Warrington South women have been affected by the changes and to call for urgent Government action. The Government has said repeatedly that it will not revisit the state pension age arrangements for women born in the 1950s. However, Faisal has pledged to continue to do all that he can to support the campaign to end this injustice.
Mr Rashid said: “On Pension Awareness Day, I stand with all 1950s-born women in Warrington South and across the country affected by changes to the state pension age.
“1950s-born women have now had their state pensions deferred twice by stealth, for the meanest state pension in Europe – all under the false premise of equality and longevity.
“In the face of such appalling Government inaction on this issue, I believe it is critical that the women affected receive as much support from trade unions, policymakers and civil society organisations as possible.
“The TUC has a proud history of standing up for working people – I think it is right therefore that it stands up for these women, who have worked hard their entire lives only to be cruelly cheated by grossly unjust government measures.
“I am proud to stand alongside 1950s-born women and to back their calls for action – I will continue to do all that I can to support them in their fight for justice.”

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