Opperman defends state pension age equalisation coverage

Guy Opperman has defended the amount of newspaper coverage that state pension age equalisation has received, following complaints about the lack of communication.

The written answer to parliament was published yesterday (20 November) and claimed that there were “more than 600 mentions of state pension age equalisation in the national broadsheet and tabloid press between 1993 and 2006”.

This averages out at just under one per week on “front pages, news, and city sections as well as personal finance pages”, according to the minister for pensions and financial inclusion.

Newspaper coverage of the state pension age equalisation was reportedly most concentrated in 1993-95 and from 2005-06.

The written question posed asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to “publish a list of newspapers in which adverts on the change to the state pension age for women were placed since 2010”.

However, Opperman admitted that the Department for Work and Pensions did “not have any records that suggest it has used paid newspaper advertising since 2010 specifically to advertise state pension age changes”.

Earlier this month (6 November) state pension age equalisation came into force, following legislation to increase the female state pension age first signed in 1995 (The Pensions Act 1995), and accelerated in the Pensions Act 2011.

The state pension age for both men and women is now 65. However, the equalised state pension age is due to rise to 66 by October 2020.

Campaign groups, such as the Women Against State Pension Inequality, have maintained their complaint that the changes outlined in the 1995 were not sufficiently communicated to those affected.

Recent protests, such as during Philip Hammond’s budget speech, have fallen on deaf ears, and most campaign group’s efforts to influence the government have been unsuccessful.

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