To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has any proposals to establish complete equality in age of pensionable retirement for men and women; and what is his latest estimate of the cost of such a proposal.
We are still considering all the options for change in pension age, including the question of equalisation. The cost of equal pension ages for men and women would depend on the age at which equalisation took place. Equalisation at 60 would cost over £3,000 million at 1985 benefit rates; at 63 about £800 million; and at 65 there would be a saving of about £500 million. All figures are net of effects on tax and other benefits, but exclude costs to employers who would be obliged under EC directive 86/378 to equalise pension ages in occupational schemes also.