Inefficient women…

by | Nov 1, 2022 | Pension History

Pensions tend to loom in the public consciousness if expectations are disappointed, legal or regulatory constraints misunderstood, or because there is not enough money. All featured when females’ State pension age was increased from age 60 to age 65 in stages up to November 2018. Protests, lobbying and a Court challenge were the result. Change had been driven both by the cost of increasing longevity and to comply with equal treatment legislation.

It is sometimes difficult to remember how great the changes in attitudes and wider society have been in living memory. Although early State pensions were payable at the same date for men and women, when modern contributory pensions were introduced in 1948 few questioned the lower female pension age. Women were generally reckoned to be about 5 years younger than their husbands and would naturally wish to retire at the same time. A fascinating talk by George Ross Goobey at an NAPF conference in 1969 discussed the way in which company schemes could accommodate women with irregular career patterns. Thoughtful and ahead of his time in many of his ideas, it is nonetheless startling to read that a female retirement age of 60 was partly justified because it was ‘a fact that a large number of women become relatively inefficient in their middle or late 50’s and the question of whether they make a useful contribution to their employer has to be considered’

The Pensions Archive Trust

Jane Marshall (Director)

First published in Pensions Age magazine, November 2022 edition.