Plaid: Wales could be hardest hit by pensions changes


Plaid Cymru’s work and pensions spokesperson Hywel Williams MP has today warned that Wales, and women in the country especially, could be most heavily hit by the UK Government’s planned changes to the pensions system.

Mr Williams called on the UK Government to conduct an in-depth regional and national study of all areas of the UK to gauge the effect of the drastic changes.

Mr Williams raised concerns over the impact on Wales citing that, as a population, Wales has fewer people on high incomes and in managerial positions, meaning that the ability to rely on savings or a second source of income during retirement is minimal. Mr Williams argued that this showed that the effect on Welsh pensioners would be “more pronounced”.

Mr Williams raised these concerns during the second reading of the Pensions Bill in the House of Commons.

Plaid’s Mr Williams said:

“More than 5 million people across the UK will have to wait longer before paying paid their state pension under the UK Government plans. This will include more than 120,000 women in their fifties losing out on thousands of pounds.

“These changes are taking place too late in the day for these people. We know that there is a gender impact and we know that there is a social class impact.

“Managers and senior officials will not be hit as hard by the changes as they have other sources of pension income. However those on low incomes, reliant on Pension Credit and with no private pension saving, will be most affected by these changes. The fact is that we have more of those in Wales than the UK average and fewer managers and senior officials.

“I am very worried that the effect of this delay in paying state pensions will be felt more in Wales more than in other wealthier parts of the UK.

“There has been no regional or national study of the impact of these changes, but it is common sense that the effect will be more acute in Wales.

“That is why Plaid Cymru wants a proper Living Pension for everybody.”