Authorities vow to help pension campaigners

Cllr Ferris Cowper
Cllr Ferris Cowper

MP visits Waterlooville service helping people with disabilities

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COUNCILS have joined a campaign to help 8,000 women who may now be unable to retire at 60 following changes to their state pensions.

Along with Portsmouth City Council and Havant Borough Council, East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) will be urging the secretary of state for work and pensions, Damian Green MP, to ensure those affected are treated fairly by government.

In cases where the changes have been too fast and have taken place without sufficient notice for women to make alternative plans they will be offered financial support.

So far 118 councils have agreed to tackle the issue, which affects 116,000 women in the county and 3.5m across the whole of the UK.

Councilor Ferris Cowper, leader of the district council, said: ‘These changes by central government could have a big impact on a considerable number of our residents, that’s why we’ve joined this campaign.’

The Pensions Act of 1995 brought in changes to the State Pension Age (SPA) for women born after April 1951. At that time, the changes were not to start until April 2010 and would take ten years to complete. By April 6 2020 the women’s state pension age would have been 65 and equal to that of men. The Pensions Act of 2011 increased SPA for men and women to 66 by 2020, this had the effect of speeding up the changes for women and moving the date they can draw their pension to a later one. There have been protests about the issue.