Owen Thompson, SNP MP for Midlothian, has today written to Stephen Crabb MP, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to express his concerns about women in Midlothian and across the UK who are affected by the equalisation of the State Pension Age.

In his letter, Mr Thompson pointed out how women born in the 1950s have been forced to deal with changes to their retirement plans which may be leaving them in dire financial circumstances, often with little or no notice, and asked Mr. Crabb and the Department of Work and Pensions to reconsider the transitional arrangements for these women.

Commenting, Owen Thompson MP said:

“Many of my constituents have written to me over the past few months to raise their concerns about the UK Government’s handling of the equalisation of the State Pension Age. Whilst in principle I am supportive of an equalisation of the pension age for men and women, I cannot agree with the unfair manner in which the UK Government has imposed these changes.”

“Not only has there been both a backbench debate and an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons, but also a report from the UK Parliament’s select committee on Work and Pensions. There has been cross-party agreement that more could and should have been done to let these women know of the changes to their pension ages, as well as support for the UK Government to implement methods to ease women’s transition into retirement. Shamefully, the recent budget did not address this issue at all, and the DWP is still silent.”

“I applaud the WASPI [Women Against State Pension Inequality] Campaign for standing up for the rights of these women, and my SNP Westminster Group colleagues and I will continue to do the same. I call on Stephen Crabb and the DWP to revisit the transitional arrangements for women born in the 1950s – and to give immediate support to those women affected by these unfair changes.”