Do you know how old you’ll be before you get your state pension?
A Bideford campaigner is warning thousands of local women who might be expecting to receive their pension soon to prepare for an unpleasant surprise.
Legislation to equalise pensionable ages for both sexes has seen a hike in the pension age for thousands of women born in the 1950s.
Ildi McIndoe, 62, was born in 1954 but will not see her state pension for three years.
Although she found out several years ago, she says the situation is an unfair one and fears it may come as a shock to many.
She has joined the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign, which is calling for fair transitional arrangements for all women born on or after April 6 1951 who are victims of the age hike.
WASPI has launched a parliamentary petition which now has more than 169,000 signatures. It was debated last month and the Government decreed there was no evidence to revise the situation.
Ildi says 400 in Torridge and 293 in North Devon have signed the petition, meaning many may still be in the dark about their pension.
The Government claims millions were notified, but Ildi said many had not received the alleged letters.
Until recently she ran her own Hungarian bistro in Combe Martin, before being forced to give up work due to severe osteoarthritis.
She said: “I have 41 years of making National Insurance payments. I put into the system and my understanding was that I would receive my pension when I was 60.
“Theoretically I should be pensioned now, but I won’t be able to receive my pension until May 2019 when I am 65.”
She has joined WASPI in calling for women to contact their MP to raise the issue and sign the petition.
She visited her MP, Geoffrey Cox, who was supportive. He said: “I firmly believe people who have worked hard all their lives deserve security in their retirement. So I welcomed the ‘Triple Lock’ the Government applied to the basic state pension in the last parliament.
“I understand and appreciate the frustration of the campaigners at the changes to the state pension age.
“Having met with constituents affected, I am very sympathetic to the issues that they face. That’s why I have raised this issue personally with the Chancellor, and have written to the relevant minister to raise my constituents’ concerns.”
It is not known whether George Osborne will make any pension announcements in his budget statement today (Wednesday).