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2007 National Women's Conference
5 February 2007

This motion is as a result of the Pensions White Paper put before Parliament on Tuesday 16th January 2007.

Conference welcomes the improvements to the original proposals for Pension Reform which has been won by a determined coalition of Women Trade Unionists, EOC and Pension Campaigners. Conference notes however that the new proposals still do not deliver an equal chance for women to access a full state pension.

For many low paid women the state pension is their main source of income in retirement. At the same time, many women in this country take time out of the workforce and/or reduce their hours and income to care not only for their own children but go on to care for their children’s children and elderly or disabled relatives. This care enables many of those relatives to keep their independent accommodation and lifestyles and in doing so saves the country the expense of state benefits and/or residential care. These women carers should not be disadvantaged as pensioners for doing so.

Conference believes the proposed legislation, with regard to carers should be strengthened, so the majority of women as well as men become eligible for the full state pension and be allowed dignity and independence in retirement following their lives of hard and dedicated work – both paid and within the family.

Conference calls on the National Women’s Committee to work with the wider union, the EOC and pension campaigners to make continued and urgent representations to the Government to put in place a new, fair, and transparent pension reform that gets it right for women whether this is through the reduction of qualifying years or additional carers credits.