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Postgraduate research project

Women’s pension entitlement in the UK: Understanding who may have been left under-provisioned by recent changes in state pension age

Fully funded (UK and international)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
MSc with merit and 2:1 honours degree
(View full entry requirements)
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Social Sciences
Closing date

About the project

The 1995 & 2011 Pensions Acts increased the women’s state pension age from 60 to 66, however women born in the 1950s have had little time to adopt their saving plans. This PhD will link wage, earnings and Census data to examine the pension entitlements of women in the UK.

The 1995 Pension Act planned the phased increase of women’s state pension age (SPA) from 60 to 65 between April 2010-April 2020 so that it was the same as men’s. The 2011 Pensions Act introduced further changes, with the increases brought in faster than initially proposed, with SPA rising to 66 by October 2020. Many women were unaware of the changes and had little time to adapt their saving plans, some getting as little as 1 year’s notice of up to a 6-year increase to their SPA.

This PhD will explore the demographic/financial/ pension circumstances of women in this group, including contributions to and entitlements of, the Basic State Pension (BSP) and second-tier pensions. What are the actual (for retired women) and likely (for economically active women) pension entitlements of women born during the 1950s in the UK and how do they vary by demographic and socio-economic characteristics? The PhD will link data from the Wage & Employment Dynamics, the Annual Survey of Hours & Earnings (ASHE) and the 2011 Census.

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