Responding to the work and pensions committees call for views on allowing certain women to draw their state pension early, Royal London’s Steve Webb has warned this would be of little or no benefit to those most affected by increasing state pension ages (State Pension Access).

Under the proposal, some women born during the 19650s who are facing sharply increased state pension ages would be allowed to draw a state pension earlier than planned, albeit at a reduced rate.

In its response, the provider pointed out such a scheme could not practically be implemented until April 2018 at the earliest. For example, all of the women in the much-discussed group born between April 1953 would already be drawing a state pension and so the option of “early access” would be of no value to them.

There is also a question as to whether it was a compatible with equalities legislation. Mr Webb, director of policy at Royal London, said the select committee should be commended for looking at creative solutions to the problems faced by women who have seen large increases in their state pension age, but that early access was likely to be of very limited benefit.

He said “By the time the government has passed the necessary legislation, reprogrammed its computers and communicated of the new option, most of the affected women would already have begun drawing a pension or be close to pension age.”

(FT Adviser, April 2016, Dan Jones and Ruth Gillibe)

State Pension Access

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