Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams MP demands pensions justice for women and carers

12.26.55pm GMT Mon 7th Nov 2005

lonely elderly woman

Welcoming the launch of the Women and Pensions Network on Monday 7th November Stephen Williams MP is calling for the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to end the failure of the current pension system for women and carers. The new network includes a host of organisations with an interest in the field, including Help the Aged and the Association of British Insurers.

Stephen Williams' call comes after a report published last week by the Department of Work and Pensions showed that only by 2025 will men and women have similar levels of entitlement to the basic state pension, and this is partly because the levels of entitlement amongst men are expected to fall! At present, only 24% of women retiring today are entitled to a full basic State Pension on the basis of their own contributions, compared to just less than 90% of men.

That means that unless there is radical change to the pension system, in Bristol West constituency most of the 8,280 women aged between 45 and 59 are being told that the system will continue to effectively discriminate against them leaving them with poorer pensions when they retire.

Stephen Williams MP, said "These figures show that John Hutton, the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has a huge challenge ahead of him. For the millions of women already retired and living in poverty because of the injustice of the current pension system and for the millions of women and carers who will be retiring over the next 20 years, urgent and radical action must be taken. Rather than continuing to tinker with the system of National Insurance contributions, the Government should establish a Citizen's Pension, where entitlement is based on long-term UK residency."

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Previous news story: Shocking increase in house repossessions in Bristol - Stephen Williams MP (Fri 4th Nov 2005).
Next news story: Stephen Williams MP meets trade justice campaigners (Tue 8th Nov 2005).

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