Exclusive: The 4.6 million men who “retired” at 60 to get a pension top up paid by the taxpayer

DWP’s extraordinary disclosure

Successive governments extended a 1983 “men only national insurance subsidy” for 35 years and broke a promise to women born in the 1950s to offer them similar terms

More than 4.65 million men aged over 60 have had the last five years of their national insurance contributions paid by the state, the Department for Work and Pensions has disclosed.

The scale of the payments has been kept quiet by the Department for Work and Pensions for 37 years. It was only revealed last week when Myfanwy Opeldus, one of 3.8 million women facing now a six year delay to get her pension, got the admission from the ministry through a Freedom of Information request. She is a BackTo60 supporter and had been pursuing the government over this issue

The scheme was launched by the Thatcher government in 1983 when it was reeling from large scale unemployment even after its popularity had soared through victory in the Falklands War. Extraordinarily the scheme was only wound up in 2018 just two years ago and 35 years after it was launched.

Thatcher ‘s first government: Lord Carrington, foreign secretary, Margaret Thatcher and Sir Geoffrey Howe. Pic credit : BBC The Thatcher Archive

The scheme- called auto credits – was announced in the 1983 Budget by the late Sir Geoffrey Howe , then Chancellor of the Exchequer, as one of four measures to get down the unemployment count which was over three million.

In his March Budget he announced:

“Some 90,000 men between the ages of 60 and 65 now have to register at an unemployment benefit office if they wish to secure contribution credits to protect their pension rights when they reach 65. From April, they will no longer have to do this.

Even if those concerned subsequently take up part-time or low-paid work on earnings which fall below the lower earnings limit for contributions, their pension entitlement will be fully safeguarded. ( my emphasis)”

Unemployment did fall and was half that level by 2018 when the scheme was dropped.

Yet neither successive chancellors Nigel Lawson, John Major , Norman Lamont,Kenneth Clarke , Gordon Brown or Alistair Darling did anything to repeal it.

In fact under Kenneth Clarke in 1993 the opposite happened. He decided as 50s born women were going to face waiting longer for their pensions, they should get some help. This was adopted by Labour in a leaflet issued in 2002 on pensions which announced it would be extended to 50s women from 2010 when the pension age for women started to rise.

But the Brown government then reneged on this in 2009 after the financial crisis.

Promises to 50s women reneged

An explanatory memorandum to changes in pension legislation said :

“When the Government published its plans for state pension age equalisation in 1993, the intention then was that as women’s pension age increased gradually to 65, autocredits would become available to them on the same basis as for men. This was in part to compensate for the increase in the number of years women would otherwise have to pay National Insurance contributions for in order to qualify for a full basic pension.

” This approach has since been reviewed, for two reasons. Firstly, the qualifying age for Pension Credit (the income-related benefit currently payable to men and women at 60 without jobseeking conditions attached) is set to increase to 65 by 2020 in line with female state pension age. Without the proposed change, autocredits would increasingly apply mainly to people who could afford not to work or claim benefit….

“Secondly, the reduction in the number of qualifying years needed for a full basic pension to 30 and the improvements in the crediting arrangements for carers under the measures introduced by the Pensions Act 2007 will mean that the need for autocredits to protect state pension entitlement will be significantly reduced….

” This instrument amends the Credits Regulations to provide that autocredits will be available to men only for the tax years in which they have reached what would be pension age for a woman of the same age, up to and including the last tax year before the one in which they reach age 65. Men born on 6 October 1954 or later,…, will not qualify for the credits.”

This meant it was phased out in 2018.

Meanwhile the new Tory and Liberal coalition elected in 2010 decided to raise the pension age further to 66 and also planned a new pension raising the qualification period to 35 years. The main architect was the pensions minister , Steve Webb, who now has a top job at Royal London Insurance. In an article in the Telegraph in September 2017 he backed men who could have overpaid NI contributions to claim the money back.

Yet another scandal

Now this entire scandal is yet another example of unfair treatment to 50s women.

The woman who raised this with the DWP is one of a number who has not got enough national insurance contributions to get a full pension. She falls short by three years and will have to pay them £3000 to make up the years to get another £400 a year.

A man – one of the 4.65 million who was covered by auto credits- would have to pay nothing. That is hardly fair. And he could take a low paid job and still not pay NI contributions as they would be covered by the state.

More seriously it does knock a hole in the DWP case that the raising of the pension age was an equality measure to create a level playing field with men.

It is hardly a level playing field if men on this huge scale are getting their national insurance contributions for free. What started as a measure for 90,000 ended up helping 4.6 million. No wonder the DWP were not happy to have to disclose this.

Roll on the appeal to the judicial review brought by BackTo60. Michael Mansfield could have a field day with these new facts.

The damning FOI reply from the DWP that revealed the 4.6 million figure

110 thoughts on “Exclusive: The 4.6 million men who “retired” at 60 to get a pension top up paid by the taxpayer

    • I have just paid a lump sum to cover 4 years extra NI contributions so that I can increase my pension when I finally receive it – 6 years late. How unfair and disgusting is this based on this article? And to top it all, HMRC have ‘lost’ my extra contributions so the pension I am due to get in month or so, does not include the additional pension I am due. I am still waiting for them to ‘find’ the extra contributions I have paid, and then they said I ‘should’ get the increases back-dated but there’s no promise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unfit for purpose.

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      • you really think they’re suddenly going to ‘find’ those extra contributions? I haven’t been allowed to work for decade and a half because i had my identity stolen, amongst other things….somebody probably still claiming benefits in my name so nino probably still being paid….but that’s besides the point.
        Before that i was agency/ temp worker…..often working 60-80 hours a week…take home pay some weeks was below 100, sometimes 120/140…and my total tax every week was several hundred quid! Never got a rebate…I was owed tens of thousands i figure….then probably about ten years ago HMRC suddenly lost millions of people’s tax records? Those on lowest incomes and temp workers were ALWAYS massively overtaxed…it was basically us that paid for the Iraq war i figure, several times over….and never did get to see any of the profits! Then they conveniently lose all the records……? I think you’re going to be in for another rude surprise, or it really shouldn’t be a surprise…..even the total morons must be catching on by now….?

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      • A couple of years ago a similar thing happened to me. State pension due 6 March, paid NI contribution of ap £730 for one year just before Xmas. 4 weeks before pension was due I received a statement telling me what I would get which was less than I expected. I had to make numerous phone calls to the Pension service and HMRC, it was like one had no clue what the other was doing. Took about 4 weeks after receiving my 1st pension for it to get sorted.

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      • Oh Lynne, that’s terrible.
        I worked for the MOD in Whitehall from 1972 to 2002 but when I looked at my HMRC Act online recently, my NI contributions showed ‘nothing paid in 1980-1981’!
        Obviously a mistake so I duly contacted the MOD sending proof of my staff record sheet and explaining the error probably occurred whilst I was in between posts (all within the same building I might add) but the answer came back saying unfortunately they no longer hold my records so there was nothing more they could do??!!
        This is certainly not the retirement I was expecting or promised!!
        I do hope HMRC repay you everything you are owed.

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  1. David I could never have provided that level of detail, I gathered what I could and felt it was something women needed to know but you have collated the facts brilliantly. Put flesh on the bones. Thank you Myfanwy.

    Liked by 2 people

      • just been sent an email by which mag that the triple lock could be dropped to help pay the covid 19 300 billion bill l hope this doesn’t happen haven’t we been robbed enough having to wait 6 years longer to get our pensions anyway. plus the uk state pension is one of the lowest paid in Europe without making it any lower. plus why the hell should pensioners have to help foot covid 19 when we haven’t had any help offered not a penny out of these magic billions off of boris’s magic money trees… should put the workers taxes up there the ones benefiting from his schemes not pensioners and definately not 50s born WOMEN. Grrrrrrrrrr 😡

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    • Myfanwy, Thankyou so much for uncovering this, it would never have come to light without your determination. I’m a grateful #50sWomen💐

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    • How disgusting and disrespectful to the 50s woman who have worked 30 to 45 years already have to work another 6 to get what we have already paid for it disgraceful how we have been treated I hope we win and you have to back date it all that would be karma on all the corrupt governments that have been covering this up shame on all of you bet you all get yours selfish people pay us what we worked for and are due

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      • I absolutely fail to see how it cannot be denied that these 50’s women have been robbed. This legal case (going forward in July) must surely recomoenseceach and every one of them it is totally scandalous.

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      • I am absolutely disgusted bloody greedy men looking after the boys club
        I want my pension

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  2. This is staggering.
    The breadth of positive discrimination in favour of men.
    This is dynamite – what a great piece of investigative journalism.
    Bring on 31-22/7/20

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Left the 1950s women in poverty But Her Maggie Thatcher Died in the height of Luxury. Tony Blair Gordon Brown we’re hand in glove with her

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Iam 66 years old have two different Cancers and have had to work thtrouh it as I was widowed at a young age and can not afford not to work. Still not getting my pension .I am struggling and with no help due the extension of my retirement age. There is no equality. X

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  5. Unfortunately this government has made it mind up already, the judges are in their pockets. We will never be given the justice we deserve. They will never admit the terrible injustice of women how we have been denied equality all through the Years they know it but will never come clean. However i do believe justice will come at some point albeit to late for us now .

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  6. How can people in the “know” sleep at night with a clear conscience! Women have been blind sided by men for men’s benefit. Kenneth Clarke plus the Labour Party should have stuck to their guns and equalised the playing field for women as well. So, besides missing out on £50k pension payments for the last 5 years, I have overpaid NI contributions in that same period whilst working. I hope the DWP are going to send me a refund for the lot plus interest!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope Micheal Mansfield does have a field day with them at the appeal hearing this is scandalous the DWP are a disgrace because we are women we have been very badly treated by them blatent discrimination this is and when the gov has splashed billions of pounds a bottomless pocket it now seems for covid 19 when they said they was nothing to pay our pensions with. Would love to know what they did with the nat ins I paid in and all the tax since I was 15 yrs old now 64 all I want and I know I am not alone here is a pension I paid religiously into and should have got 4 years ago and just as important as that is all elderly people are treated with respect and looked after a lot better than they are now by this and future governments after all the older you get the more you contribute to this country. 46 yrs paying in and getting robbed is totally unaceptable. it’s time they stopped ignoring us and paid us out and in full NO crumbs roll on july for the appeal…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So ostensibly a man could retire from work at 60 with a huge private pension (unlike most women) and still get NI credits until he was 65, which would enable him to get a full state pension (unlike most women)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too – my husband’s NI contributions ceased in 2014 when he (and I) reached 60 whereas I still pay NI even though I have paid for over 40 years so any further contributions do not count towards my pension when it comes – this July and I will be aged 65 and 11 months !!! DISGUSTING

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  9. Thanks for information lets hope it goes back to 60 they have just dropped people coming from abroad they do not have to pay towards our nhs now sorted in one week . But not back to 60 still on going.

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  10. So not only have we been robbed some men will have been too, because unless the men applied for these auto credits they didn’t get them. I know my husband didn’t he worked until he was 67 deferring his pension for two years, but he paid BY until he was 65 but according to this post he didn’t have to pay NI after 60. If I am wrong perhaps someone would enlighten me please, because not only do they is me 50K in lost pension but they also owe my husband 5 year NI. Would be grateful of your thoughts please TIA

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    • I’m afraid you are mistaken. Both men and women have to pay NICs until they reach state pension age if they are working. These autocredits were only given if they were not working so they wouldn’t apply to your husband.

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  11. So not only have we been robbed some men will have been too, because unless the men applied for these auto credits they didn’t get them. I know my husband didn’t he worked until he was 67 deferring his pension for two years, but he paid NI until he was 65 but according to this post he didn’t have to pay NI after 60. If I am wrong perhaps someone would enlighten me please, because not only do they is me 50K in lost pension but they also owe my husband 5 year NI. Would be grateful of your thoughts please TIA

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  12. how can we share this to Face Book to spread the news

    On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 5:41 PM Westminster Confidential wrote:

    > davidhencke posted: ” DWP’s extraordinary disclosure Successive > governments extended a 1983 “men only national insurance subsidy” for 35 > years and broke a promise to women born in the 1950s to offer them similar > terms More than 4.65 million men aged over 60 have had t” >

    Like

  13. It just gets better!!!! How can anyone trust a government that has been proved to be so underhanded with so much!!!
    60s ladies , more ammo , go girls right behind you all

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  14. Pingback: The 4.6 million men who “retired” at 60 to get a pension top up paid by the taxpayer | Govt Newspeak

  15. It makes you wonder what else they have been keeping from the 1950’s women.How can these people sleep at night,

    Many thanks to David and his team, for the all help they are giving all of the women who were born in the 1950’s

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  16. I’m not hopeful on a positive outcome for the appeal. The Government will say that due to the coronavirus and subsequent economic recession, they need all funds they can get their hands on,

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  17. Caring for my mother meant that I missed paying 5 years NI and NO one – including health and social service support workers advised that I was entitled to have these paid by the government. When I realised I was entitled to a carers credit from an early morning journalist story on radio 4, I was only able to back claim one year claim – so I have been told that I have to pay £4,800 to make up my NI. I am one of the 1950s women who saved the government money caring for my mother and also had their retirement date changed. Then I discover that anyone reaching retirement now if you do not claim – loses that pension income – previously you could delay and be paid what you have missed with interest.

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  18. Very interesting article, which further highlights the dreadful treatment of 50’s women in this country. The government won the first round by claiming men and women were treated equally, obviously not and never have been by state pensions. These women did not earn as much as men doing the same job, had less benefits and have been robbed of several year’s pension payments. As unemployment is rising considerably, where exactly are they supposed to find jobs to exist on , perhaps the government would like to bring back the workhouses.

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  19. If the governments statement … is that .. all it’s decision are based to bring in line all aspects and to play everything on a level field .. then they no longer have an argument.. Michael Mansfield must be wringing his hands at the thought of the review..

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  20. OMG!!!! how much more can us 50’s girls be unfairly treated!!! This is totally shocking and I’m sure this will be the nail in the coffin of the government’s case. Roll on the appeal!!!!

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  21. Well done on your discovery through F.O.I. Myfanwy and thank you for your editorial David. Another massive boost to the campaign.

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  22. Absolutely fascinating. How many times are us women backfooted? My pension wait of 6 years should end in October 2019 but I am so cynical I am waiting on the next curved ball to arrive. Thank you for all you do.

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  23. Disgusting! I am a disabled 50s women. I have worked and contributed for 42 years and can’t retire until 2025. DWP and the government should be ashamed of their actions. DWP did not give me any notice of the changes until I enquired about my contributions. Currently my health is declining but if I don’t work I can’t pay my bills. There are thousands of women who have been robbed of their pensions. The Government is quick to action complaints from NHS family members and pay for illegals/asylum seekers who have no LEGAL right to be here but they have ignored pleas from the 50s women.

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  24. I remember this coming up before, OPPERMAN responded with: This concession was given to men as a way of compensating men , as their retirement age was 65 whereas women could retire at 60 . However he conveniently forgot that we women actually had to pay NI at a higher rate because we retired at 60.
    Also another point that was brought up by DWP lawyer at appeal taken from Gilchrests investigation dated around 2018 was that the reduction of women’s Spa in the 40’s was done not because of a women’s campaign group at the time (as was suggested at the JR) BUT because of men who retired at 65 could not claim the relevent couples allowance until both spouses were of retirement age. So men were unable to enjoy their retirement because of lack of funds and this meant they either continued working or the wife was working so SHE wasn’t at home to fetch and carry for him as was the usual practise then.
    It’s such a shame that still to this day no active collaboration has been achieved or tried for by BACK TO 60, as most of this information which I see being brought into the limelight now, has already been unearthed by other women’s groups years ago, not only that I’m sure there are many other points on the inequalities suffered that are filed in these groups with lots of info and relevent documentation. Let’s hope BACK TO 60 have ALL this info ready for this appeal and a victory for all 50s women us won .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Women never paid a higher rate of NI at any time. What was higher was the cost to buy a unit of Graduated retirement benefit because they got it earlier than men. In 1995 that cost was equalised for anyone reaching SPA from 2010 onwards. The wrong information won’t win anything.

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  25. I don’t understand this? As far as I know, women, who aren’t working, can sign on and receive a national insurance credit towards their SP, even if they aren’t eligible for benefits, (for E.G due to too much household income/savings) Those who get an out of work benefit: UC/ESA/JSA etc will automatically get an NI credit? I don’t think those who paid the married women’s stamp can get NI credits though? The only difference was when unemployed men got it in the 80s they didn’t have to sign on, but this was only because Thatcher didn’t want them showing in the unemployment figures!

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  26. Women have always been discriminated against. It is embedded in governments worldwide. I am tired working with bad arthritis, cataracts and complete loss of hearing in one ear. I hope this review will bring about long awaited change.

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    • I really hope so too however we lost last time, Unfortunately I can’t honestly see this appeal winning. Boris Johnson said he didn’t have the money he’s got even less now.

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  27. How disgusting is this how dare this government refuse to correct the wrong done to the 1950 women knowing they have hidden the truth they need to put right this wrong immediately

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  28. To the lady whose husband worked until age 67. Auto credits were just that they were automatically posted onto mens NI record every year. He should not have paid NI after age 65.

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  29. Dear Myfanwy Opeldus and David Hencke,
    Thank you for the further details about the automatic National Insurance credits for men, that I had heard about over the years, but not in such detail and had not realised they had continued after men lost Pension Credit from age 60 by Welfare Reform Act 2012.

    Nor that automatic NI credits were granted to men up until 2018.

    Far more women than men are in jobs paid below the Lower Earnings Level, and the new flat rose minimum NI record (you gain nil NI history when you earn below LEL) from 12 months to 10 years, so discriminating even more to women, who are more in such low paid jobs below the LEL than men.

    Also you do not earn NI credits if you are in two separate part time jobs both paid below the LEL in wage level, as NI is reckoned separately on each job, unlike income tax that lumps all your jobs together.

    Most women, against half of men, will never get the full new flat rate state pension, which is reduced by the SERPs opt out, yet SERPs (now called State Second Pensions since 2002) had ended going forwards in the same year the new flat rate state pension began, from April 2016.

    You cannot make up years if opted out of SERPs, as if contracted out for any years in work, you are treated as if opted out ALL your working life, for amount of new flat rate state pension.

    Public sector opted out staff from SERPs (began 1978), never telling us SERPS ever existed (started 1975). No party, Tory, Lib Dems or Labour, ever undid this biggest pension mis-selling of them all, that we have no rights about, as it is the state pension.

    Far more women than men work in public sector jobs, and research done by formal enquiries found that most public sector works pensions were no more £4,000 a year on average. So state pension is even more vital to women than even men, in the main.

    But then over the years, the value of SERPs has withered away, to the tiny 20 per cent of people, mostly men, on average on top wages, who had the chance to remain in SERPs.

    And then of course, there is the biggest tax break for the rich of all. Mostly men are on top wages and they only pay 2 per cent NI contributions above a low maximum salary threshold, on all further wealth. It was not until part way through Blair and Brown’s government did such mostly men pay anything above the maximum salary threshold, and those top waged are the majority not opted out of SERPs.

    As the saying goes, everyone is equal, just some are more equal than others, lol or grrrrrr !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. What a disgrace. Discrimination at every turn . One of the contra arguments usually from men is that women want to be equals but here we have it again where women have been discriminated against in favour of men. At a time when many women in this age group Find they are Carers for either their aged parents or husbands they are having to work. The government could sort this wrong out now and include the redress in all financial support being given as a result of Covid.

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  31. I cannot believe what I have just read!!!!! Not only have we 50s women been reobbed of 6 years of our pension, women have, for years before equal pay been doing the same job as a man for less money!. For this great privalage, we have had to keep contributing national insurance up to age 65 to get our rightful pension when men only have to pay until age 60 to get theirs. Where is the fair in that? Like most self employed people, I can’t run my small local sole trader art business, due to covid. This obviously is’nt the government’s fault, but I still feel so frustrated as
    not only can I not get my state pension that I was robbed of, like every other 50s woman, because
    I have savings which I have had to rely on while being unable to trade, I am not entitled to emergency payment as my savings are just over the llimit. When I rang the DWP to ask, they were quite off hand. Lets hope that July heralds some good news, and justice for 50s women is finally done. I wish you the very best of luck Michael, and would like to thank you very much for all your efforts on behalf of us all, Jill. I feel so sorry for N Kelly who has two cancers. I hope you are able to be helped.

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  32. Discriminated against over and over again by successive Governments. Low-paid working, childcare, elderly parents care, still paying the full rate NI (rather than the lower rate ‘married womens’ contribution”). Keeping working with major health problems, still paying NI at the age of 64. As for the 35 year NI contribution to get full SP – Ha! Passed that milestone when I was 50!
    Would be good to have some input from our legal representatives.

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  33. How could the dwp/gov ever claim equality, women for many years were on low pay until 1972 I belive and even their wage did not increase to match a mans yet i understand a full stamp was paid talk about equality it’s a total sham well done to the clever lady who tracked this down.

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  34. Thank you Myfanwy for your persistent diligence and David for publicising this.
    There is another story in today’s Mail detailing 130000 married women being short-changed of their pension, being entitled to pensions based on their husband’s work record which has been denied them .Women previously got to retire at 60 because they were badly paid and had two jobs – one unpaid lifetime responsibility for housework and child rearing etc which prevented them from getting decently paid jobs in the first place. This hasn’t changed.When ‘Back-to sixty’ started, I wrote to Zac Goldsmith.and suggested if they were truly interested in equality they should legislate to ensure men took their equal share of housework, child care etc to enable women to work on an equal footing, In a recent Covid survey, I was not surprised to learn many women wre uspet that their partners were not taking their fair share of childcare, home learning or housework. ‘Twas ever thus and I cannot see how it will end; perhaps the government should pay women for these extra lifelong duties. That will not happen but if you are going to claim action on the basis of equality, all contributions should be considered!
    The financial impact of covid should bear no consideration when considering the government’s appalling behaviour as a matter of law.

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  35. I am 67 years of age – I am a strong woman with life experience. I remember fighting for equal pay in the 1970’s and being told I had accepted my wage at interview and that I would get pregnant anyway so was not as good a proposition as a man –
    I have suffered indignity of male dominance in the work force – I had 30 years NI contributions and now do not have a full state pension.
    I have fought hard to have equal status to men but to little avail
    Men should be ashamed of this legislation and I hope to God women in this group get some form of justice at appeal. This would never happen to men
    Be strong young women of today, learn and don’t let this happen to you. Vote and fight for your rights
    Women are the backbone of this economy
    I am proud to be a woman and just want fair treatment

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  36. Further to my previous comment, ref above, how have they got away with the great SERPS rip off? I paid extra into NI because I earned more and was led to believe this would give me an extra payment on top of the mormal pension for the extra contributed. I was advised to move the SERPS element to a commercial and, therefore, much better paying scheme. Instead of retaining the extra I would have got, the goverment have translated this into taking a £44 per deduction from my pension whilst the commercial scheme will not pay that amount (whoever heard of the government out-performing a commercial enterprise?). An aquaintance, who only earned what her other half described as ‘pin money’ and took out 9 years for child rearing will now get a minimum pension whilst I, who always paid in more, will have £44 deducted from that amount (unless they arbitarily renege on that). This is dishonesty in the extreme. I moved my SERPS but should at, least get the minimum pension, even though I will have paid more fot even that! Do politicians get training in dishonesty or lack of ethics?

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  37. This should be put right or it is discrimination against women funny we can find billions to furlough thousands due to coronavirus but we dont have funds to compensate wasps women!!

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  38. Amazed by the inequalities, I lived in what was a British colony for 7 yrs HK), forfeited my family allowance as wasn’t allowed it., didn’t get any pension credits for those child rearing years, rand from overseas to pay my stamp voluntarily was told no I didn’t need to, I’d be covered by my husbands pension (misinformed there), have been back in UK since 2003 and working again, still, am almost 63, can’t retire cos have a child rearing hole in my private pension and a double whammy with my state pension which I won’t get till 66. I’m also having to work to help support my sister post stroke from age 63 as she can’t work and husband has no private pension and only half a state pension until her state pension kicks in no at 66 instead of 60, times have been hard, we have familial high BP and 3 of my siblings have had strokes, at ages 53, 62, 72, one has died due to cancer, our Mother died of a brain haemorrhage at 50 , so I worry about the future and my ability to keep funds coming in to help out till my sisters pension comes in at least as she can’t work. My husband retires this year and I have to carry on working till my pension comes in at 66, my work pension is quite lows so another three years
    Hats off to all fighting the government for a satisfactory outcome, it’s shameful.
    My humble thanks.

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    • And also had no notification of the pension age increase as was living overseas with our children from 1996 to 2003 so zero information sent to me. I’m born in the UK, worked in the UK for thirty two plus years….. fed up waiting now…..

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  39. Oh my goodness, this is unbelievable! There has never been equality for women and it will take decades at this rate. Fingers crossed there will be compassion and justice for us women in their 60s now who are surviving on very little. All I have per month is 69 pounds private pension. That is it. I live off the kindness of my husband who only works part time. Neither of us have great health to work much and I have an elderly mother with dementia to look after too. Nobody should have assumed that we CAN all work until we are 66!

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  40. To Suzanne that replied to my comment;

    Pre 2016 you could choose between a lump sum or an increased pension from deferral. Post 2016 you can only choose the increased pension. Nothing is lost but it will take longer to break even and then begin to have more.

    Many still choose to defer as it saves tax if they are still working. Choice is yours.

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    • …and interest rates dropped from 10.4% to 5.8% post 2016.

      Estimated to take 17 years to recoup the pension deferred.

      Choice is informed by knowledge.

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  41. On Fri, 22 May 2020 at 17:43, Westminster Confidential wrote:

    > davidhencke posted: ” DWP’s extraordinary disclosure Successive > governments extended a 1983 “men only national insurance subsidy” for 35 > years and broke a promise to women born in the 1950s to offer them similar > terms More than 4.65 million men aged over 60 have had t” >

    Like

  42. Thank you again Mr Hencke. This disclosure by the DWP is of course good news, but how did Michael Mansfield QC not have this information at the JR last year. In my last post I raised my concerns that our JR did not, and this is my view, have enough information/evidence to get us the right result and now we have this information, which our Counsel should have had as that’s his job. So did he have it but didn’t use it or didn’t he have it so couldn’t use it and the question is if he did have it why didn’t he use it and if he didn’t have why didn’t he have it. I want to believe we have the right person for the job but I’m very worried because if he doesn’t know and or doesn’t have every detail of every decision made by the DWP that has every chance of effecting the result in our case, why? This information were talking about proves beyond doubt that women were not and still are not, treated equally. It doesn’t take a genius to work that out, it’s a given, but of course we know they choose to ignore this fact, so we do need to have someone fighting our corner who can make them admit it because it’s not a case of them not believing it because the evidence has always been there, but they just won’t admit it. Maybe this document will make them realise that they can’t hide the truth any longer and if there’s any real honesty in our law courts then justice will prevail and we will have what is ours.

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    • It was known in 1983 that 90,000 men qualified for this. What was not known until last week – and this is absolutely staggering – is that over 4.6 million men eventually got it. Until a FOI was put it even the DWP was not obliged to tell anyone. And I suspect a lot of the men who got it just kept quiet about it.

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      • David why are some of my comments not being allowed through whilst others posted later than mine have been? Hopefully not trying to censor comments to give your readers a biased opinion? There have been a couple of misapprehensions by posters and rather than let them think the court case will find in their favour for those parts, it’s important to give them the full info. I hope you will allow them through.

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      • I haven’t put up all your posts as I don’t want a running commentary on all the points being raised by one person who has tried to put up ten posts. I was also looking at your email address and remember that you were one of the people who don’t want 50swomen to win their case and spent a lot of time criticising them. I have put some of them up, where there is a debate. However one of the points you raise are beyond the means of many in my audience. They can’t afford to pay the government large sums of money to increase their pension, nor do they pay enough tax to claim money back. The others don’t relate to the special scheme for men, which contrary to what you say, did allow them to take low paid jobs and still paid all their NI contributions as Sir Geoffrey Howe explained in 1983.

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      • Well said David. No room on this website for people who do not support the case. If they are happy with their lot then fine , each to their own , but why waste their time & energy commenting on here when ultimately they do not want the 50s women to win.

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  43. I recall the introduction of over 60s men not being required to sign-on when made redundant and out of wor in 1978. This helped to keep the unemployed statistics lower than it should have been. In general any man over 60 and in receipt of an occupational pension was told never to go to the Employment Office again as their NI was covered. This helped the majority of local government employee’s who were employed in local licensing offices who claimed Benefits under the Vehicle and Driving Licences (compensation to Officers) regulations 1977 and drew compensation for redundancy under the local government pension scheme. At the same time women over 60 had their state pension deducted from the amount of compensation paid as they could have stayed in employment until age 65. There has never been equality and being born in 1953 lost around £33,000 in reduced pension entitlement and increase NI.

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  44. I
    Ps to my post. Yes this information was obtained last week but could it have been obtained last year before the JR. If Myfanwy Opeldus can ask for it under the Freedom of Information Act, and get it, why didn’t we have it last year?

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  45. There never been a equality with men and women being treated the same just a load of tosh saying raising the pension age to same and now this FOI from DWP just proves it it’s not on

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  46. Deeply shocking and disturbing- and surely this very much strengthens the Back to 60 case – I’m donating to the film fund now because I really want more people to know about this. Thank you Myfanwy and all for your work and perseverance

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  47. Surprise, surprise -50s women at the bottom of the heap again. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Hopefully this will add fuel to our fire in July.

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  48. I am yet again shocked by the lack of equality for 50’s women. I still work full time (not during pandemic following guidance) at 64 with 2 years ahead. I am appalled to repeatedly feel discriminated again. I have worked in external employment most of my life with breaks only for brief maternity requirements and a carer for both parents which dramatically impacted my career. How can the challenge of the Back to 60 campaign be ignored with this new information? I sincerely appreciate all that you are doing on behalf of all 50’s women.

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  49. Absolutely shocking and disgraceful . I have worked since the age of 14 like many others. I have had a one year break after the birth of my daughter at age 33. I am still working even throughout the covid 19 virus aged 61. Financially ,I will have to work until I am physically able to probably 70 or until I drop. I am divorced , struggle financially though careful and have cared for my 24 yr old disabled son myself throughout his life with no benefits of care allowance as over Wkly threshold by £2 and without any support from local authority as deemed as coping and told by social welfare officers others worse off. I too am still working with no pension . This sickens me further to read how unjust , unfair and biased the gov is towards so called equality for all . How are you supposed to look forward to retirement as women are working to survive still ,live on buttons to pay utilities , food and live a basic standard of living as personally an independent woman caring , working and living with a dependant son ?!

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  50. As a woman born in December 1953, this article is very upsetting. The trials and hardships have been well documented s for woman of my age, so I will not share my story, however please believe me life is not easy.
    I am still working, fortunately, I’m healthy, but still fell an injustice has been done. as I have worked since leaving school still I can’t retire.
    Thank you for you’re very appreciated informative article.

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  51. David thank you so much for finding this. It gives me so much hope for the appeal.

    Can I just ask a question please? I’ve looked at the Government website for this and it said that it only applied to men born up to 5th April 1953 and from 6th April 1950 to 5th October 1953 it wasn’t the full 5 years credited but only part of it. Is this true?

    I’m really worried if this is true as it wouldn’t give me anything and every woman that’s had to wait till 65 and over wouldn’t get anything either.

    Please tell me it’s not true as your article had really given me hope and now I feel deflated again.

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    • Thank you Eileen. I am afraid it is true that the government phased out the concession to men from 2010 to 2018 but remember this was compensation based on them already retiring at 65. In the case of women it will be compensation based on the retirement age of 60 rising to 65, so unless I am wrong I would have thought it would apply to more women than than those born up to 1953 , it probably would apply to those born up to 1958. I haven’t though checked this out so can’t give you a guaranteed pledge on this one.

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      • Thank you for your reply David. This is the Government website I was referring to which says only men born up to 6th October 53.

        https://www.gov.uk/automatic-pension-credits-for-men

        Having looked at the pension timetables I can see why it was that date now as they were the last group to reach SPA by age 65 and who would gain from a credit as you don’t get credits for the tax year you reach SPA.

        It looks like it wouldn’t help most of us so I’m very disappointed again.

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  52. @davidhencke

    Thank you for allowing my comment through. I would have replied to your comment but it doesn’t give me the option so I have to add it here.

    I don’t recall saying anything about claiming tax back in any of my comments so not sure what you are referring to there. Perhaps you misunderstood when I suggested that some people choose to defer their state pension because they are still working and would pay more tax than if they waited until they were not working to claim their deferred pension.

    As to my post in answer to Grey Swans, paying voluntary NICs is not the only method of increasing your state pension which is lower because of being contracted out. Some 50s’ women could well afford it as they have very generous occupational pensions – and yes these women do exist despite the claims otherwise. However my main point is that many women are able to claim NI Credits for the years post 2016 and it would be in their best interests to do so. Various options are open to them such as ;

    1. Specified Adult Childcare Credits – many 50s’ women are looking after grandchildren and can claim these credits right back to 2011.

    2. Carers’ Allowance – many are looking after relatives for at least 35 hours per week.

    3. Carers’ Credits – those not doing 35 hours a week but at least 20 hours a week can get a credit.

    4. By signing on for various benefits even though not eligible for any money.

    As it would be possible to increase a state pension by up to £40pw it surely is worthwhile letting women know rather than having them miss out?

    I know that everything you are doing with these articles is designed to influence the BT60 court case but there is no guarantees of success and meanwhile many women are missing out on information that could actually help them. I would really love to see you producing articles with practical help instead of campaign clickbait.

    I do hope you will allow this comment through if you really do wish to help.

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    • I am only putting this up as it includes some practical advice. As for the comment that I am trying to influence judges in the forthcoming court case that is laughable – I know from 50 years of reporting that judges make up their own minds on the merits of the case and no article can be designed to influence them. That is the role of BackTo60s legal team in presenting their case on July 21. Finally I notice you are wrongly claiming on Twitter that very few men would have claimed this. The letter from the DWP makes it clear that the figure is based on a sample of people who are recorded as having claimed it not those who were eligible to claim. This is your last post on the matter that will be published by me.

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  53. This news of inequality is a blessing. Well done to the woman who got this information & thank her too by so many who I believe will agree with me

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  54. Great news. I was born just after the 1950’s – and I am in the trap where what I earn is below the LEL – I signed off JSA as I got a part time job (a low paid job way below my previous professional wage in a job that was made redundant) as I was not well enough to work full time, and I had relatives at that point of needing a lot of additional care. I was unaware of carer’s allowance at the time. While on JSA, though my contribution based payments ran out, I continued to ‘sign for my stamp’. When I started this job I was not earning enough to pay NI, but neither was I gathering any NI Credits as I was while unemployed and signing, where I was gaining class 1 NI contributions. It was about three and a half years before I discovered this, and I was outraged – then I discovered carer’s allowance and carer’s credit. Well, I earned just too much for carer’s allowance to kick in, but at least now I get class 3 NI contributions as a carer. I mean I am grateful to get the support regarding being a carer, now I have learned to call myself that, but I have had a long working career and always paid NI tax etc gladly. The point excellently made by Grey Swans above I also think is directly discriminatory against women – the fact that far more women have jobs where they earn below the Lower Earnings Limit for NI and “Also you do not earn NI credits if you are in two separate part time jobs both paid below the LEL in wage level, as NI is reckoned separately on each job, unlike income tax that lumps all your jobs together.” You couldn’t have designed this to be worse for women. Why is it ‘all right’ to ‘design’ poverty for older women?

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  55. I should have got my pension nearly 3 years ago after a lifetime of bringing up a family and working full time most of the time in low paid jobs to fit in with the family. This is such a slap in the face

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  56. what else are they hiding?

    and hate to sound selfish, but any chance i will get a pension considering i haven’t officially existed for decade and a half now?

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  57. This is great news hopefully we are going to get equality at last that we have been denied as women all these years

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  58. I was born in 1960 and started work in 1977. I have paid NI contributions since then. 43 years. My long term plan was always to retire at 60. I now have to work an additional 6 and a half years to reach pensionable age. I will have contributed NI for 50 years.

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  59. At the time that was introduced men worked 5 years longer than women to get their state pension. For the vast majority of that time women didn’t need to pay NI. They already had their pension

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  60. Bloody damn disgrace give us are money back. What we work hard for we should have a say when its our money. Bring back the pension age to 60. What about the people who are unable to work till that age because of ill health yet you starve them of their pension. Damn disgrace

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  61. I have had an idea for the judicial review. some may not like it, and it is’nt what back to 60 set out for but my thinking is this. If we demanded at the review, that we get full restitution of all 50s women’s pensions back to 60 with full back pay wor us all, then especially with this Covid pandemic, the government will just throw it out. But if we were to change the demand to get our pension age back to 63 meeting them half way with those women who are 63 this year getting their pension this year at age 63, and those women born from 51 to 59 getting back pay from age 63, that will be a lot less for the government to find, so we to my mind, stand a far better chance of the review going our way, a bit of give and take. Then no 50s born women would ever have to face a 6 year wait for their pensions again. I know it must be hard for those with just the basic pension,but this way I think will be less stressful for them,and we would be far more likely to get the result to go our way. Jill

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    • sorry Jill but when you have already lost 4 years and some will have had to wait longer to get their pension I dont think your proposal is fair to just recieve 1 year of compo out of 4 years of stolen pension no crumbs are acceptable especially when the government have found 300 billion to help with covid 19 and could find nothing to help us. and the appeal is to win our pensions back not to accept anything less after how appalingly we have been treated. as I said earlier NO CRUMBS.. I very much doubt they will help us anyway unless forced to they haven’t helped up to now… roll on July hope we get our day in court we all trully deserve it and have worked long and hard for what is rightfully ours our pensions in full not for less.

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    • I totally agree, I don’t think we have any chance of getting it back to 60. Better get some then none at all.

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  62. oh, and before i worked for agencies….who routinely paid my nino contributions to the WRONG number, despite taking a photocopy of the card as well….refused point black to sort it out 😦

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  63. Win or lose I am so grateful to all those who fight our cause. I pray justice is served this time. We have been treated appallingly. This new information should surely help enormously. I am 65 and desperate for retirement.

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  64. Remember…. The government ‘misappropriated’ £271 billion from the NI pot which would go a long way to cover COVID19 expenses. Though they have never owned up to what they have done with it. We should make no concessions and demand what was contractually agreed and paid for over many decades. (After all, we never even joined up – they helped themselves to money from our pay packets before we got anywhere near them)

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