As you come nearer to retirement age, you will become more aware that some women have to retire five years earlier than men. European Community law favours levelling up the retirement ages for women and men - a law should soon be in force which gives women the right to work until they are 65 if they wish.
If you are on low pay or unemployed
It may be possible for you to increase your income by claiming help from the state in the following ways.
� Family Credit. If you have children you can claim Family Credit if you (or your husband or partner) work at least twenty-four hours a week. What you will get will depend on how much you earn and other circumstances.
� Income Support. If you (or your husband or partner) do not work enough hours to get Family Credit, you may be able to claim Income Support instead. This is a benefit available to you if you do not have enough money to live on.
� Other sources of help. You may also be able to get help from the Social Fund. If you are unemployed, of course, you should find out if you are eligible for Unemployment Benefit.
� Help with housing costs. You may be able to get help under the Housing Benefit, scheme. What you get will depend on your particular circumstances.
For more information consult your local Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). office or Citizen's Advice Bureau.