Councillors from South Hams District Council have called on the Government to help women who have been affected by pension changes.
These changes have seen an increase in the state pension age for women and this has affected many women born in the 1950s. At a Council meeting this week, Councillors voted for a Motion which calls on the Government to consider transitional funding arrangements for women born in this period.
Campaigners from the group WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) Devon appealed to the Council to show support for their cause.
Group Coordinator Sandra Broadbent, from WASPI Devon, said: “The campaign is asking for fair transitional financial arrangements for 1950’s women as they have had the biggest change and the least notice, and some women had no notice at all. The majority of councils in Devon have supported the Motion, and we thank South Hams for supporting us, we have not yet had the opportunity to present the Motion to West Devon and Torridge but hope to do so in the future.”
Cllr Nicky Hopwood, Ward Member for Woolwell, who proposed the Motion, explains: “Government changes to the Pension Act have moved the female pension age to 65, and this has adversely affected hundreds of thousands of women.
“The implementation has been too rapid and happened without sufficient notice being given to the women affected. This has left many women with no time to make alternative arrangements.
“With this in mind, we are asking the Government to address the need to ‘bridge’ the financial gap and cover the deficit left between the previous retirement age and the increased state pension age. It is not the pension age itself that is in dispute – it is widely accepted that women and men should retire at the same time, the issue is in how it has been instigated.”
Cllr Richard Foss, Ward Member for Allington and Strete, who joined Cllr Hopwood in addressing Members, added: “We moved the Motion because many members of staff at South Hams District Council and within the wider South Hams population have been affected by these changes. With many retirement plans now being shattered and hard working women, who thought they would be financially secure at 60, now finding themselves in troubling situations with a six year funding gap.”
Councillors unanimously voted in favour of passing the Motion, which will see correspondence sent to the appropriate Secretary of State.