Changes to state pension hit women hardest

Elizabeth Rankin
Elizabeth Rankin

#uNDC16 The new single tier pension introduced in April is discriminatory towards women as most cannot accrue the same pension as men because of low pay, part-time working, zero hours contracts and time off for caring responsibilities.

Women born between April 1951 and April 1953 will not receive a state pension at all, despite men born in the same period being eligible.

UNISON condemned this injustice and will campaign to raise awareness of the disproportionate impact on women of pensioner poverty.

Elizabeth Rankin, NHS Glasgow and Clyde and CVS Branch, in her first speech to conference, slammed the inequity within pensions and how it affects women including herself.

She told delegates that started nursing at 18 in mental health and took retirement from her full-time post after 38 years because her MHO status meant that she could.

“I made this decision because my state pension age was 63. Yep, I could do this, work part-time to top up my pension till that kicked in.

“Then the goal posts moved. It is now 65 and a half.

But, said Elizabeth, her body doesn’t want to work another thirty months. “My back can’t do it. My knees can’t do it. That was why we could retire at 55 in the first place.”

Elizabeth added that to add insult to injury, because she has an NHS pension she won’t get a full state pension. “I might have to work longer still,” she added.

“Give us some dignity, stop moving the goal posts and give my knees a rest!”

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