State pension: What next for WASPI women? DWP age change ‘failures’ found

WASPI: ‘We have been treated unjustly’ says director

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State Pension age was changed from 60 to 65 for women as a result of legislative changes taking place in 1995 and 2011. The women impacted were born from 1950 onwards, and the changes mean many have been required to wait longer for their state pension sum. However, many have said the change was not sufficiently communicated to them, or that they received no correspondence at all about the matter.

The so-called 1950s women asserted they had experienced financial and social hardships as a result.

After the matter was taken to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), an important update was announced this week.

The Ombudsman released its findings that “failings” had been found in the way the DWP communicated changes to women on their state pension age.

It said Government officials were too slow to tell many of the affected women about the impacts of the legislative changes.

Amanda Amroliwala, PHSO Chief Executive Officer, commented on the matter.

She said: “After a detailed investigation, we have found that DWP failed to act quickly enough once it knew a significant proportion of women were not aware of changes to their State Pension age.

“It should have written to the women affected at least 28 months earlier than it did.  

“We will now consider the impact of these failings, and what action should be taken to address them.”

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Many campaign groups have called for further action on the matter, including Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI).

But what is next for the so-called WASPI women in regards to this ongoing issue?

At present, there is no timeline for the remainder of the PHSO’s investigations into the matter.

However, it is expected to progress quickly to come to a final conclusion.

Now maladministration has been found in stage one of the PHSO investigation, stage two will look at whether an injustice has taken place for the complainants.

If it is found there was an injustice that has not already been remedied, which is not guaranteed, then there is a third step.

The PHSO can then make recommendations to put things right.

It cannot recommend the DWP reimburse “lost” pensions, or revert the state pension age back to 60.

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However, it may make recommendations which could include compensation being paid. 

This will depend on the “severity of injustice” charted on the matter. 

Upon the PHSO’s announcement, a DWP spokesperson told “Both the High Court and Court of Appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court refused the claimants permission to appeal.

“In a move towards gender equality, it was decided more than 25 years ago to make the State Pension age the same for men and women.”

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