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Women’s state pension age now 65

The state pension age for women has risen to 65 to match men for the first time, which has prompted warnings 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 measures mean about 3.8 million women born in the 1950s will have to wait up to an extra six years to receive a state pension.

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

Women in their 60s also have a fraction of the pension savings that men have. According to a recent report by the Chartered Insurance Institute, the average 65-year-old woman has £35,800 in her pension, compared with £179,000 for the average 65-year-old man.

Read Chartered Insurance Institute - Solving Women’s pension deficit to improve retirement outcomes for all and DWP - Check your State Pension age