Wendy Chamberlain has criticised possible changes to the state pension age in a debate yesterday evening in Parliament.
Recent reports have suggested that the UK Government is considering bringing forward the increase in the state pension age to 68. A decision is expected in the coming months.
Speaking in a debate on the issue Wendy, who is the Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesperson, called for the government to publish its evidence before making a decision, and to commit to established methodology including basing changes on life expectancy.
She also raised the case of the WASPI women, as an example of what can go wrong with changes to the state pension age. Earlier this week the MP tables a motion in Parliament calling for the government to abide by the findings of an independent ombudsman due to report soon on compensation for the women affected.
Wendy Chamberlain said:
“The debate last night was an opportunity to air some of the real concerns that have been raised about the state pension age. Reports indicate that the increase in the age might be brought forward, despite life expectancy standing still or falling.
“This is a complex and technical issue, but it is of huge public importance. The plight of the WASPI women and their ongoing fight for compensation makes clear what can happen when changes to the state pension age are mishandled. That is why the government must publish its evidence before reaching a decision, rather than presenting any change to the public and Parliament as a foregone conclusion.
“The government also needs to recognise that while life expectancy is based on averages, there is huge variation between individual people and their circumstances. For many occupations it simply isn’t feasible to work until the state pension age, for example. Many people also have caring responsibilities and will require support to remain in the workforce.”