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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington

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Sutton MPs Demand Pensions Justice for Women and Carers

October 8, 2005 1:00 AM

Welcoming the launch of the Women and Pensions Network on 7 November, local MPs Tom Brake and Paul Burstow are calling on the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to end the failure of the current pension system for women and carers.

Mr Brake and Mr Burstow's call comes after a report published last week by the Department of Work and Pensions showed that only by 2025 will men and women have similar levels of entitlement to the basic state pension, and this is partly because the levels of entitlement amongst men are expected to fall! At present, only 24% of women retiring today are entitled to a full basic State Pension on the basis of their own contributions, compared to just less than 90% of men.

This means that unless there is radical change to the pension system, in Sutton most of the 16,339 women aged between 45 and 59 are being told that the system will continue to effectively discriminate against them leaving them with poorer pensions when they retire.

Paul Burstow MP said:

"These figures show that John Hutton, the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has a huge challenge ahead of him.

Tom Brake MP added,

"For the millions of women already retired and living in poverty because of the injustice of the current pension system and for the millions of women and carers who will be retiring over the next 20 years, urgent and radical action must be taken.

"Rather than continuing to tinker with the system of National Insurance contributions, the Government should establish a Citizen's Pension, where entitlement is based on long-term UK residency."