Women to miss out on pensioner bonds thanks to age limit
When you retire, you can invest in pensioner bonds, however, there's an admin problem if you're a woman. The age limit for investing in these is 65, so if you're a woman who retires at 62, you're barred from joining in until you've reached the age limit.
Somewhere in advance of 900,000 woman won't be able to take advantage of the scheme, which some critics have said is tantamount to punishment for women having a lower state pension age and that all pensioners should be granted access to the high-interest fixed-term bonds.
The bonds themselves offer 2.8% interest for one year and 4% for three years, which is nearly double the rates you'll get on the high street.
However, The Treasury aren't having it, saying that it would be 'unlawful' to lower the age limit just for women, under equality regulations. This has resulted in a lot of peeved pensioners signing a petition in protest against this, which was launched as a lifeline for elderly people who are suffering from low interest rates on their savings (a record low, in fact).
Personal finance expert Sarah Pennells, who kicked off the petition, said: "These women have already seen their state pension age rise and they feel doubly penalised by the Government. Many female pensioners over 62 feel really hacked off they are excluded from this."
On the petition, some older ladies have vented spleen. Sylvia Corlett, 62, wrote: "I am classed as a pensioner in all other aspects, claiming state pension, pension credit, bus pass, winter fuel allowance etc. Yet I am NOT classed as a pensioner regarding the new pensioner bonds. Why?." E S added: "I am one of the several hundred thousand women who paid Married Women's contributions in return for absolutely nothing and this is another example of women being treated unfairly."
Many of the women talk of 'discrimination' and point out that after being paid less than men their entire lives, this felt like another kick in the teeth.
Dr Ros Altmann, the Government’s older workers adviser, isn't impressed: "If the Government is trying to help pensioners to live off their savings then surely that should include women who are under 65 but already taking a pension. This is a group of women who have already lost out as a result of changes to the pension system."
"They have not saved as much as men of their age because they did not earn as much. And they will also have lower state pension entitlements than men because many had shorter working lives or took breaks from the labour market to care for children."