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Women missing out on pensions

8th June 2007

Changes to the Pensions Bill being debated in the House of Commons currently are going to give less choice and less income to those nearing pension age.

Women are expected to get an especially raw deal from the Pensions Bill, as they miss out on top-ups and other boosts to income through the years many have spent bringing up children, at a time when women were often expected to give up careers to stay at home.

Anna Parsons, policy manager of Help the Aged, said: "It's a crying shame that as well as refusing to provide financial assistance to the 125,000 people whose private pensions went bust, the government has also refused to compensate the millions of women pensioners who have been failed by the state pension system.

"Many women pensioners are currently living in poverty or are forced to claim means tested benefits because of the past failings of the state pension system.

"Before 1978 each year spent caring for children or relatives meant they lost out on pension rights."

There have been calls for women's unpaid work, both at home and in a voluntary capacity, to be recognised in state pensions.