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Submission to Commission on Pensions

Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Women experience deep inequalities in our pensions system. Gender inequalities in the labour market coupled with social norms and public policies that continue to place responsibility for care on women’s shoulders are reinforced by a pensions system that is closely linked to labour market participation. NWC recommends a universal pension for all, benchmarked to 40% average earnings, which will guarantee income adequacy in older age and which would recognise that paid work and unpaid work are equally valuable. In the interim, reforms can be made to ensure greater economic autonomy for women such as, ending the qualified adult system, ensuring women born before 1st Sept 1946 are not excluded from the HomeCaring Periods Scheme and a once-off, ring-fenced retrospective scheme for women affected by the marriage bar. Sustainable pensions can be achieved by ending regressive tax reliefs on private pensions and investing this in a Universal Pension. It is essential that the Commission's proposals are gender and equality proofed and NWC calls for the publication of a gender and quality impact statement of the Commission’s proposals

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