Monday, 1 August 2011

Another new lottery – for your pension!

This coalition government obviously loves lotteries.
It is busily pressing ahead with its NHS reforms, which will introduce local lotteries for all health services. They’re not even postcode lotteries, where everyone in the same area has the same entitlement to treatment. These are GP lotteries – so, if you and your neighbour have a different GP, you shouldn’t expect the same service standards. Now that the government has removed national targets for treatment, we can already see waiting-times for consultation and treatment starting to rise.
And, now, the government is planning a new lottery for pensions. This is a special lottery, because particular groups of people have been chosen to be losers!
Are you a woman born between 6 December 1953 and 5 October 1954? Or, was your grandmother, mother, sister or aunt born between those dates? If so, the coalition government has decided that you will have to wait an extra 18 months before being entitled to your state pension.
There are more than 300,000 women in this position, and an unlucky 33,000 will have to wait an extra 2 years. They are set to lose around £10,000 in lost state pension, with less than 7 years to attempt to accommodate the change.
Unsurprisingly, MPs have been inundated with messages from women affected by the plans. But, despite thousands of people signing a petition, a mass lobby of Parliament, thousands of emails, and a series of questions to the Prime Minister, the Government have not delivered on their promise to produce plans for ‘transitional arrangements’ to ease the burden for those most affected. 
Time is running out. The women hit by these changes are the back-bone of our families.  They are the mums who took time off work to bring up children, the daughters who are helping their parents as they get older, and the grans who are providing childcare for their daughters’ children to help them balance work and family life.  Those women most affected deserve certainty and fairness as they approach retirement.
If you are concerned, write to the Prime Minister now.