WASPI: State pension age change campaigners criticise government for response to 50s women | Personal Finance | Finance


WASPI is an organisation established in 2015 which has campaigned against the way in which the State Pension age was equalised. Until 2010, the state pension age stood at 60 for women and 65 for men, however, there were changes under the Pension Acts of 1995 and 2011 which led to a shift campaign groups have stated is significantly felt by women. The changes under these Acts are thought to affect some 3.8million women born in the 1950s, who maintain they were not given sufficient enough notice to prepare for the state pension age alteration.

While the debate rages on, Jacob Rees-Mogg, current Leader of the House of Commons, today commented on the matter.

Mr Rees-Mogg was questioned by the SNP’s Gavin Newlands, on whether he would urge his cabinet colleagues to carry out an investigation on the matter.

However, Mr Rees-Mogg appeared unequivocal in his response regarding state pension age changes. 

He said: “Regarding the WASPI women, there was a lot of sympathy for them in this house.

READ MORE: WASPI women report difficult finances due to State Pension age rise

“Our issue is with the lack of notice and misinformation 1950s women received, giving them little or no notice of up to a six-year increase to their SPA, leaving them no time to make alternative arrangements.

“WASPI women made thousands of complaints of maladministration to the DWP.

“This has nothing to do with the recent Judicial Review and subsequent appeal which was not brought by WASPI.

“We await with interest the decision of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman on six sample cases of maladministration currently under investigation.”

The organisation has criticised the government’s recent response to the issue.

The WASPI spokesperson added: “It is disingenuous of the government to suggest that this matter is ‘settled’.

“The WASPI Campaign will continue to campaign for compensation for women affected who have sustained considerable financial loss, and for whom historic inequalities have been exacerbated in this way.”

WASPI agrees with the equalisation of the state pension age as a principle, however, it has opposed the way in which changes were introduced.

Campaigners from the group have called for “fair transitional state pension arrangements” for all women born in the 1950s who have been affected by the state pension changes. 

This will involve a pension ‘bridge’ to provide income until a woman reaches state pension age.

WASPI wishes this sum to be non-means tested, and with “recompense for losses” for those who have already reached state pension age.

The debates on state pension age changes come as the government has confirmed today that the state pension sum will indeed rise next year.

While there was speculation as to whether the Triple Lock Mechanism could be scrapped, the government seem to have forged ahead with their flagship policy.

As a result, in 2021, state pensioners can expect the sum to increase by 2.5 percent.

It is expected, then, that the full new state pension will stand at £179.60 per week. 

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