Government to raise age for women to claim pension
Female pensioners in the Newry & Mourne area are set to be among those feeling the pinch after it was announced by the Northern Ireland Assembly that the age at which women can get a state pension will be raised. By 2018, women will have to wait until they are 65 before drawing a state pension and by 2020 the age for both men and women state pensions will rise to 66 years old. According to the Executive, this gradual raise will affect more than 7000 people.
Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said concerns had been raised with Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith but changes to a bill to introduce the rise were not accepted. He said amendments had been well-intentioned and were aimed at ‘relieving the impact for people in Northern Ireland’.
Speaking to the BBC McCausland said, “These were not accepted on grounds of cost and the maintenance of parity. They reflected the level of concern felt by members about the increases in the state pension age and I share those concerns.”
Newry Sinn Fein MLA Mickey Brady, the deputy committee chair of the social development committee, said the majority of clauses in the bill were “extremely technical in nature” and all members had “shared concerns about the bill”. He added, “The pension age between men and women should be the same, and the committee recognises and accepts that, however, where members had concerns about this related to when it took effect.”
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