Women whose retirement prospects have been adversely affected by rapid changes to the state pension age have been told that hopes of a compromise solution is not workable.
The new Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb MP has told MPs that allowing women early access to their state pension will not be possible. ‘I don't see there is a do-able policy solution,’ he said. ‘It is just fiscally impossible.’
Many women who born in the 1950s have claimed they were unaware that their pension age was to be raised by up to six years.
The issue was brought to light by Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign and has been debated in parliament on several occasions.
Many of those affected say they have been left without enough money to live on, and too little time to make alternative arrangements, because the changes were poorly communicated by government.
- Read about the January commons debate and Moneywise's investigation into how the delay is causing hardship.
Throughout the debates held in parliament potential compromises had been suggested. Some MPs had suggested that women should be allowed to claim their pensions early, but at a reduced rate so that the taxpayer would not have to pay more.
With a nod to MPs who have been supporting the Waspi campaign, Crabb added: ‘And I think it's irresponsible for anyone in this House of Commons to try to pretend, or lead these women into thinking there's an easy decision to be made.’
Waspi members say they are still hopeful that a solution can be found.
This story was written for our sister website Money Observer.