1954 was a good year. Mass vaccinations against Polio began, Elvis recorded his first record and Bill Haley’s ‘Rock Around the Clock’ was released. It was the year I was born. It was a time of hope and increasing prosperity, of free health care, decent benefits and social housing for those who needed it thanks to principled and tough-talking people like Aneurin Bevan. I myself started life in a rented property in a ‘new town’ with two hard-working parents.
Unfortunately though, I have become part of an elite set of women who have been cheated out of £33145. I started work on my 21st birthday and for thirty-six years paid tax and National Insurance every month. I contributed to Teacher Pensions, of course and as I started to realise that the pot was actually in danger, decided to leave teaching at fifty-five. I’d be fine, of course, because I’d start state pension at sixty, wouldn’t I?
Ah……enter the man who moved the goalposts. Women born in 1954 would be some of the first in the country to have their pension age brought into line with men. In fact, my husband, born in 1952 gets his (and his bus pass!) on his 65th birthday. I have to wait until I am 65 years, 10 months and 5 days old!
The reason I am whinging about this is that I am not expecting something for nothing. I paid into the system and just want the benefits back that I was promised on 1st September 1975. I knew that I was going to lose a lot but calculating it this morning has really hit home. £33000 is a lot of money.
On the plus side……at least I have a few years to go until I can be referred to as ‘a pensioner’.