Women, Poverty and Pensions
2008 is the one hundreth anniversary of the Old Age Pensions Act which first introduced a universal state pension into the United Kingdom. Today only some 13% of retired women are in receipt of the full state pension compared to 92% of men and one in five single women pensioners in the UK now lives in poverty. This paper examines the development of relevant pensions legislation and policy in the UK and considers how this inequality has arisen. Is it possible for any state pension scheme to contribute towards the elimination of inequality in incomes between retired women and men, or are such inequalities inevitable in a contribution based system?
Keywords: Women and Pensions, Older Women, Equality and Pensions
Prof. Malcolm Sargeant
Professor of Labour Law, Law Department, Middlesex University