Unite, the UK’s largest union, has described the Conservative government’s announcement that the state pension age will rise to 68 seven years early, as making workers pay for a failed economic policy.
The state pension age was due to increase to 68 between 2044 and 2046. Under the new proposals which have to be agreed by parliament, this will move forward to 2037 to 2039.
The change will affect workers born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978, who will now not be eligible to receive their state pension until up to a year later than previously promised.
Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary for Unite, said: “This is a kick in the teeth for millions of workers, who now face working up to a year longer before they receive their state pension. The government is cynically making workers pay for their failed economic policy.”
Unite is opposed to any increase in the state pension age. However, if rises have to be introduced, the union believes, that an individual’s state pension age should reflect their working background.
Gail Cartmail added: “The one size fits all state pension age is clearly not fit for purpose. There is a huge difference in the physical health of a worker who leaves school and undertakes manual work and a worker who enters the workplace much later and has less physically strenuous job demands.
“In industries such as construction, the majority of the workforce are already forced out of their roles prior to 65 because of ill health and injury. This increase will result in even more workers being forced into poverty, too old to work but too young to claim a pension.”
The government’s latest attack on workers’ pensions follows the treatment of women who were born in the 1950s and have seen their state pension age increased to 65, with very little warning. This decision created the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign.
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.