Yesterday, 21st January 2019, I reached sixty five years, the new pension age for women. Stealthily and without due notice legislated under the equality label. Sadly this equality was never around when I first began to work in the sixties. Even though we sixties women were supposed to have changed the world, never had it so good and all the other cliches that go with that era, there is not so much said about what we didn’t have.
The married man’s tax allowance, which enabled the man to earn £600 more in the late seventies, rising to over £1,600 more in the early nineties, before he was taxed. While we women forfeited that tax level. In the belief that we would all retire at the same time and we were paying in to ensure that the difference of five years would be made up with the lack of equal tax allowances.
As late as the 1970s, working women were routinely refused mortgages in their own right, or were granted them only if they could secure the signature of a male guarantor. As recently as the 1980s, a married woman’s income still had to be declared on her husband’s tax return – so he knew how much she earned. And until 1990 married women were routinely taxed under their husband’s tax code; it is only since 1990 that married women have had the right to be taxed as individuals.
Which then begs the question how could such a law be passed five years later?
The Pension Act 1995, which added, in some cases, more than five years to the age of retirement for women, was followed by the Pension Act 2011, which accelerated the implementation in the name of equality???
I still have 105 days to go before I can receive my pension. However there are some women who will not be entitled to the full state pension at all as they were not told the implications of what would happen if they paid the lower stamp rate, or SERPS or any number of income changes.
In short we lost out then and we are losing out now.
Adding to this dilemma we also have the unusual situation that if you were a woman born, like me, 21st January 1954 you will receive you pension in 6th May of this year, 2019. However, if you were born in 6th March 1954 then you would not receive your state pension until 6th September 2019? Even worse if you were born in June 1954 you will not receive you pension until 6th March 2020?
So a difference in birthdays of five months results in an increased wait of ten months? How is that fair and who calculated this difference and more importantly why? Has the government another change to come?