RAISING the state pension age to 75 could create a new WASPI scandal, a leading charity has warned.

Women born in the 1950s are fighting for justice after UK government changes pushed their retirement age back by several years. The speed of the change left many unable to amend their financial plans for retirement and the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign is now pressing for compensation for those affected.

Now the head of Age Scotland has urged caution after a think tank called to push the state pension age back to 70 by 2028 and 75 by 2035. The SNP’s Westminster pensions spokesperson Mhairi Black has also criticised the calls, urging the Government to first tackle the “injustices” faced by the WASPI women.
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), led by former work and pension secretary Iain Duncan-Smith, says the move – which goes beyond current Westminster plans – would benefit the economy.

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But Age Scotland chief executive Brian Sloan said “lessons need to be learnt” from the WASPI row, saying: “We would urge caution at accelerating the increases to state pension age. We have already seen the negative impact this has had on the WASPI women and lessons need to be learnt from this.

“It is also important to consider that whilst some older people choose to work past their state pension age not all are able to do so due to ill health. This would have serious financial implications on older people if they have to wait longer to receive their state pension.

“Any changes would need to be communicated clearly in order to ensure people are able to plan for their future and are in no way disadvantaged from state pension age increases.”

Defending the age proposal, the CJS report Ageing Confidently states: “While this might seem contrary to a long-standing compassionate attitude to an older generation that have paid their way in the world and deserve to be looked after, we do not believe it should be.

“Working longer has the potential to improve health and wellbeing, increase retirement savings and ensure the full functioning of public services for all.”

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Black urged the PM to address the “dire levels of pensioner poverty” in the UK before implementing policies “written up by one of the architects of Tory austerity”.

“Pensioner poverty has been an issue that has been continuously ignored by the Tory Government for too long. From the burning injustices facing the WASPI women who have been denied the right to their state pension, to the stripping away of pension credit for the over 75s, this government’s attitude towards its older people is shameful,” she said.

“The Tory Government must take a step back and tackle these injustices and the UK’s shocking pensioner poverty levels, rather than ramping up the threats.”