Calling OAPs-to-be

PEOPLE aged 56 or 57 (or, indeed, younger) are going to be hit hard by the government’s plan to speed up increases to the state pension age (SPA).

SPA was scheduled to increase to 65 for women by 2020 and to 66 for both men and women by 2026.

Now the Coalition wants the SPA for women to be 65 by 2018 and 66 for both men and women by 2020. This will particularly affect women born after April 6, 1953, and men born after December 6, 1953.

Women, who have already seen their state pension age moved from 60 to 63 or 64, now face waiting up to two years extra for their hard-earned pension, the unluckiest losing more than £10,000.

Men will have to wait up to an extra year, with most losing more than £5,000.

The Pensions Bill that will make these changes will be debated in the House of Commons in the next few weeks.

You can find out how you are affected and sign a petition against the changes at www.usdaw.org.uk

Please also contact your MP and ask him or her to oppose these changes, which will make thousands of hard-working people wait even longer for their state pension.

You can call your MP at the House of Commons on 0207 219 3000 or email him or her at findyourmp.parliament.uk/

John Hannett

general secretary of Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)

Manchester