Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, commented: “The rapid increase in the Women’s State Pension Age (SPA) has forced many women to have to go out and look for work in their 60s.

This has resulted in an increase in the number of women aged between 60 and 64 in work by 345,000, or 55 per cent, between 2010 and 2019. Tragically, it has also resulted in a large increase in the unemployment levels of women in this age group – up 128%.

In the last recession, women could retire at 60 – today it’s 66. This is of particular concern in the post-pandemic climate with mass redundancies looming and age discrimination rife. Pre-pandemic, workers over 50 were less likely to receive workplace training and were more likely to be in long term unemployment than their younger counterparts.

For women in particular, we know that the gender pay gap is at its widest for those over 50, which flows through to a significant gender gap in pension savings. With widespread job losses, this paints a bleak picture of the financial security of many women in their 60s.

‘In separate analysis of government data, Rest Less found that Universal Credit claims amongst women over the age of 50 nearly doubled in just two months to 241,000 – an increase of 118,000, or 95 per cent.”

Rest Less analysis*

Women's SPA for Judicial Review

The Facts

  • The Pensions Act 1995 equalised the State Pension Age (SPA) for men and women
  • The SPA was 60 for women until 2010.  SPA for women has risen since 2010 and reached 65 in November 2018.
  • The Pensions Act 2011 brought forward the timetable for increasing women’s SPA to 65 and for increasing both men and women’s SPA to 66 in October 2020, to 67 by 2028 and to 68 between 2037 and 2039.  It was originally intended to reach 65 by 2020 with both men and women’s state pension age to increase in tandem to 66 between 2024 and 2026.
  • Between 2010 and 2018, women’s SPA rose from 60 to 65, reaching 65 in November 2018
  • 2010/11 was the first year of the SPA changes brought in by the 1995 Pensions Act which raised women’s SPA to 65

Notes to Editors

*Based on a bespoke set of data provided to Rest Less by the Office of National Statistics. The data is weighted 2014. The analysis looks at the quarter October to December in each year.

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About Rest Less

Rest Less ( launched in December 2018 and is a membership community for the over 50s designed to help its members get more out of life. Rest Less has thousands of jobs available on its site from progressive age-friendly employers across the country. Rest Less is the leading site in the UK to offer flexible opportunities to work, volunteer or even start a new career path, specifically targeting the rapidly growing over 50s market.