Wednesday, 7 November 2018

"Women abandon calls for equal treatment with men"

From The Guardian:

The state pension age for women will rise to 65 on Tuesday to match men for the first time since 1940, reaching a milestone that has prompted warnings from campaigners that the pace of equalisation has left some female retirees realising that life isn't a bed of roses for men either.

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 mean all workers currently in their late 30s and early 40s are treated equally.*

The accelerated timetable for equalising then raising the state pension age will now mean men and women are treated equally, according to the campaign group Wfspe (Women for state pension equality), with about 3.8 million women born in the 1950s expected to wait as long as men before they can live off the taxpayer guilt-free.

From here:

1940 - men age 65, women age 60
In 1940 pension age for women was cut to 60 to try to ensure for most couples that the married rate would be paid as soon as the husband reached 65.

1995 - women's state pension age to be equalised
Following pressure from Europe**, the Conservative Government was forced to announce plans to equalise state pension age for men and women. The timetable was the most relaxed possible and would raise pension age for women to 65 slowly from April 2010 to April 2020.

Yup, the people whining now have had over twenty years' fair warning.

* On a technical note, and what 'campaigners' like the Wfspe don't mention, the UK state pension is now moving towards a flat rate Citizen's Pension in all but name (hooray for that). The new system equalises the state pension between men and women, because of instead of having a low basic state pension based on years with NI contributions (tends to favour men slightly) plus the second state pension based on lifetime earnings (which favours higher earners = men), it is based purely on years with NI contributions or years with 'mother's credit'.

To eliminate the mothers' pay (or state pensions) gap (which is what the so-called gender pay/pensions gap actually is), women who have had children are given one year's credit for every year that they were not working but claiming Child Benefit, i.e. pretty much for every year of their adult lives, automatically.

So I (higher earner for most of my working life) will end up with less state pension than I would have done under the old rules, and plenty of lower earners esp. women will end up with more. Am I moaning? No, because that is A Good Thing.

** I take it they mean "The European Union", in which case one of the good things they did for us. But I bet the Remoaners never mentioned that.


Sackerson said...

I seem to recall this arose out of a case brought by an Englishman who was hoping men's State Pension Age would be reduced.

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, that would have been even better!

Sackerson said...

I think the EU equalisation ruling arose out of the Barber case, which originally wasn't to do with SPA:

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, ta, well done Mr Barber.

L fairfax said...

There was also a case in the mid 90s where some women wanted to retire at 65 but their employee forced them to retire at 60 and men at 65 and it went to either the ECHR or European Court of Justice.

What I find weird are men complaining that women have to work as long as them, why?

mombers said...

Child poverty is soaring and pensioners are better off on average after housing costs than working folk. It's an incredible waste of money spending almost £100bn on sending often perfectly healthy people on a taxpayer funded holiday for decades

mombers said...

@MW it's fantastic that we've now got a Citizen's Pension in all but name. A glaring inequality under the old regime was that raising children was not counted as work, so women often ended up with a lower pension. Ironic that mothers had a lesser claim to their children's private property than strangers! Ideally a CI for working age folk, 0.5x CI for children and 1.5 or 2x CI for pensioners, but at a realistic and affordable age

L fairfax said...

Is child poverty really soaring? I remember in 80s having friends who didn't have a phone (landline). Is that true nowdays?
I would guess in the 70s even more people would not have a phone.

mombers said...


You're welcome to take the figures apart but reductions in income are a big part of poverty. VAT has gone up by approx £1765 per household from 2010 to 2016, even more since then. National Insurance revenues AKA working age income tax has gone up twice as fast as income tax receipts. Refunds of these via tax credits or Universal Credits have been frozen.

I don't think that phones are a particularly good measure of poverty. Homelessness certainly is, and 123,130 children were homeless in Q1 2018, an increase of 80% since 2007.

We are a much, much richer country than in the 70s or 80s, this is an entirely political choice.

I don't believe that it is ever a child's fault that they are homeless or in poverty. Most pensioners on the other hand have had plenty opportunities to take responsibility for themselves...

My apologies if you were being ironic though!

L fairfax said...

I was not being ironic.
Are more than 100K children living on the street? Or is this a different definition of homelessness?
I find this
"Growing up in poverty means being cold, going hungry"
Hard to believe 30% of Children go hungry because of poverty?
As 28% of Children are meant to be overweight or obese it seems really hard to believe that.

L fairfax said...

I re-read your link and it says
"The most common specified causes of homelessness were relatives and friends not being able to provide accommodation, relationship breakdown with a violent partner and the end of a shorthold tenancy,"
This "relationship breakdown with a violent partner " has nothing to do with the wealth of a country.
It is due to other issues, so although I think it is bad, I don't think it is poverty, not all bad things are caused by poverty.

Lola said...

There is no reason at all for any 'child poverty' in the UK. And I doubt that there is any. CPAG are incentivised to claim that there is as it feathers their own nest. Indeed when you take into account the value of entitlements like health services, education, subsidised housing (aka 'free land' :-)), benefits and including private food banks and other ral private charities (of which CPAG is NOT one), no-one in the UK is actually 'poor'. As in absolutely poor, as opposed to relatively poor.

Nevertheless, as we all on here know, an LVT / CI system would ensure greater equity between landowners and serfs (as in mortgage or rent payers - I am a serf as far as my business premises is concerned). Furthermore, upwards of 80% of NAE income earners goes on rents and taxes.

Mark Wadsworth said...

LF, "not all bad things are caused by poverty", no, not directly.

But poverty clearly causes bad things. Whether the immediate cause is redundancy, marital breakdown, health issues or sheer bad luck, the result is poverty. Which in turn causes more bad things etc.

Lola said...

MW. Isn't it the other way about? Redundancy, marital breakdown, ill health cause poverty? Or rather can lead to poverty? But even then, our welfare state - if it operates as it should - stops people actually starving to death or being without shelter.

Returning the conversation to pensions, in theory as pensions were originally an insurance product, women should get lower benefits than men because on average they live longer.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L "women should get lower benefits than men because on average they live longer"

Indeedy. Or pay the same but women only get it a couple of years later so that men and women on average get the state pension for the same length of time. Giving our long suffering husband a couple of years relaxing home time between bossed about by the boss and being bossed about by her indoors...

CherryPie said...


Can you provide me a link to the campaign group?

I would be interested to see what they have to say.

Lola said...

MW sounds like plan...

Mark Wadsworth said...

CP, see here.