An 'outdated' pension system will continue to fail millions of women for many years still to come unless urgent action is taken, a report from two leading charities warns.
A report entitled A Blueprint for Reform from Age Concern, in conjunction with the Fawcett Society, finds only 16% of newly-retired women have a full basic state pension against 78% of men.
Moreover, the report argues this is because of the type of employment women are in, often with poor coverage, and along with the time they take off in order to raise a family.
Both charities believe the current system does not take such necessities and female working patterns into consideration, which in turn has the biggest impact on poorer pensioners.
The report says 20% of all single women pensioners in the UK are currently living in poverty.
Moreover, the government is looking to raise the basic state pension age in April 2010 gradually to 65 by 2020, with the ultimate aim of moving towards a system which sees women make the same contributions as men to qualify for a basic state pension.
Michelle Mitchell, head of Public Affairs at Age Concern England says most of the political parties are aware of the scandal surrounding women and pensions, adding: “Many women are angry that the system fails to give them a decent income and it is an issue that is likely to affect their votes on polling day.”
Dr Katherine Rake, director of the Fawcett Society says: “Women tend to receive lower pensions because they earn less than men during their lifetimes. Increasing the pension age will not change this and will do nothing to reduce the number of pensioner women living in poverty.”
Both groups therefore point out several steps to equalise the pension system and solve female pension poverty, urging the Government to write up a new ‘pension blueprint’ for women which should:
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Gareth Vorster on 020 7968 4554 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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