Council urged to back a compensation package for women impacted by increased pension age

Scottish Borders Council is being urged to back an immediate compensation package for women impacted by the increased pension age.
Elane Thornton NicolElane Thornton Nicol
Elane Thornton Nicol

In the 1995 Pensions Act, the Government increased the State Pension age for women from 60 to 65, with a further increase to 66 in the 2011 Pensions Act.

Campaigners say the change was not properly communicated to 3.8m women born in the 1950s until 2012, giving some only one year’s notice of a six year increase in their anticipated retirement age.

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In the Borders local authority area this impacted 7,100 women.

Now a motion is to be presented to full council from SNP opposition leader councillor Elaine Thornton-Nicol.

It calls on councillors to support a package of compensation for the women affected and to support the assertion that “this injustice has not only had a profound effect on the individuals involved, but on the wider community in the Scottish Borders”.

Councillor Thornton-Nicol’s motion says: “These women are impacted financially, which impacts on every aspect of their lives. It affects their mental well-being and physical health.

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“Women who had a planned retirement should have been able to make their own decisions. Some would have volunteered, some would have looked after older people as unpaid carers, some would have provided childcare for their families. All of these things that they cannot do have a knock on impact on local government and service provision.

“Our local economy is negatively affected by the reduced spending power and disposable income the un-communicated State Pension Age changes has brought about among women born in the 1950s”.

Councillors are asked to support an immediate one-off compensation payment of between £11,666 and £20,000 to those affected, with the most going to women who were given the shortest notice of the longest increase in their state pension age.

The motion also asks that Councillor Euan Jardine, the leader of the council, writes to local Members of Parliament, and to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to outline the effects of the injustice to 1950s women on the community in Scottish Borders and to seek their support for an immediate compensation package.

The motion will be considered at full council on Thursday, June 29.