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Rise in women’s state pension age prompts poverty concerns

The state pension age for women will rise to 65 on Tuesday to match men for the first time, reaching a milestone that has prompted warnings from campaigners that the pace of equalisation has left some female retirees facing poverty.

The equalisation of the state pension age at 65 is the first step towards a rise to 66 for both sexes in two years (October 2020), and a planned further increase to 67 starting from 2026. Another rise to 68 from 2039 was recommended by the official Cridland review this year, which will hit workers currently in their late 30s and early 40s.

The former pensions minister Ros Altmann said: “The state pension age may be equalising but there is no pensions equality for women.”

She said the government increased the state pension age for older women by up to 18 months with only five years’ notice, while men had seven years’ notice of a 12-month change. “The short notice changes have caused significant hardship to many women, especially as many did not know about the original plans to increase their pension age from 60.”

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