UK - The Government has reneged on a promise to grant equal pension rights to working mothers with National Insurance contribution gaps, by allowing them to purchase up to nine years worth of 'top-up' contributions.
Baroness Hollis, the Labour peer and former DWP minister who campaigned for the change, said: "We will continue to fight to ensure that women who have been carers do not find themselves penalised by going into retirement with an incomplete, poor pension."
Lord McKenzie, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions, said the government had instead reduced the number of years contributions were required to be eligible for a full state pension to 30 from 44.
He added that projections showed by 2010 when the reforms of the Pensions Bill 2007 come into force, 75% of women would receive a full state pension, rising to 90% by 2025. He said this level was on par with that of men.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Chris Grayling, said: "Last summer, Gordon Brown promised us a fresh approach to politics and spoke about the need for transparency and honesty. What this issue has shown us is a government that is willing to raise expectations and then dash them behind the scenes without admitting it's changed its approach.
"The Government told these women it would do something then changed its mind without telling anyone."
The Department for Work and Pensions did not return calls at the time of going to press.
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