WASPI women have been left ‘high and dry’ says David Linden
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State Pension age changes were enacted to ensure age equalisation between men and women, after old rules meant women could retire at 60, and men at 65. These alterations were enacted as a result of two separate Pension Acts, in 1995 and 2011, respectively. However, certain women, particularly those born in the 1950s, have asserted they were not given ample notice to prepare for these changes.
As a result, then, many have said they have faced financial hardship, societal issues and even mental health challenges.
The campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) alongside another group known as Backto60 have raised these issues, although they have different aims.
Now, a petition has appeared on Parliament’s official website, calling for the Government to take further action.
Entitled ‘Provide bridging pension and compensation for WASPI women’ the petition urges the matter to be considered in further depth.
It reads: “It is time for the Government to do the right thing and provide women affected by 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts who have not yet reached the new state pension age with a non means-tested bridging pension.
“Those WASPI women who expected to receive their pension at 60 and had to wait until 66 should receive compensation equivalent to the ‘lost’ pension.
“The change has meant those who already retired when the changes took effect lost out on several years of pension earnings, and were forced to wait longer.
“They had no opportunity to receive a pay-out that they fully deserved.”
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As of yet, the petition has not garnered a huge response, however, it is set to run until December 2021.
At 10,000 signatures, official petitions of this kind will trigger a Government response – usually in writing.
Once climbing over the 100,000 signature level, the petition is then considered for debate in Parliament.
Speaking on GB News recently, WASPI Communications Director, Debbie De Spon, highlighted the ongoing work of the campaign.
She said: “WASPI has been pursuing complaints of maladministration to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the lack of notice.
“We are in the process of waiting for the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to make a decision about his investigation into those complaints.
“If he does find maladministration, then we would like the Government to acknowledge that we have been victims and to compensate the women appropriately.”
She pressed for financial compensation for the women who have been affected.
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A DWP spokesperson spoke to Express.co.uk concerning the matter.
They said: “The Government decided 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality and this has been clearly communicated.
“Raising state pension age in line with life expectancy changes has been the policy of successive administrations over many years.”
Express.co.uk has also contacted WASPI for comment.
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