United Kingdom

Women entitled to early pension access

March 2016


Women could be entitled to withdraw their pensions earlier than scheduled in return for lower payments, if government proposals go ahead.

The proposals, first put forward by the Work and Pensions Committee in their interim report in an attempt to counteract the effect of state pension age increases on women, are now being reviewed in more detail in an official inquiry.

Sarah Hamilton, Senior Pensions Consultant at Aon Employee Benefits said: "It is good to see that the government is finally exploring sensible transitional options to help women impacted by the change. For many women, the state pension remains a significant part of what they will have to live on in retirement."

Large numbers of women had raised complaints following the latest state pension age rise announcements, which led to a series of parliamentary debates on the issue. Initially, a government minister had insisted that there were 'no plans' to provide concessions to women.

But the launch of the new inquiry will enable MPs, industry experts and organisations to explore the options further. In particular, the committee are welcoming submissions which focus on related issues, such as short term and long term fiscal impact, eligibility and how the scheme should interact with pension credit and other benefits.

Hamilton added: "The challenge is to find a simple, understandable solution so that those affected can weigh up their options and make an informed decision. The idea of a straightforward reduction to reflect early payment would seem a sensible approach, and hopefully the new inquiry will propose a simple straightforward solution."

The deadline for written submissions to the inquiry is 10th April 2016.



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