Eight million women lose state pensions after Government U-turn
More than eight million stay-at-home mothers could lose their state pensions after the Government dropped plans allowing them the chance to make up the shortfall before they retire.
In July, the Government said it would allow women to make lump sum payments, worth up to nine years, to boost their pensions. However, in a pre-Christmas U-turn, it appears that is no longer the case.
‘This is a slap in the face for thousands of women in or approaching retirement who are being penalised for taking time out of work to care,’ said a spokesperson for Age Concern.
Lord Oakeshott, pensions spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, added: ‘When the U-turn was announced you could see a wave of revulsion sweep around the House.
‘Gordon Brown should be ashamed of himself for sneaking this out just before Christmas.
‘He must have a heart of stone to do this to millions of women and carers who had had their hopes raised by the Governmment that they could buy back missing years which stopped them qualifying for a full pension.’
A Work and Pensions spokesman said that women who don’t qualify will be able to apply for means-tested Pension Credit after they retire.