Waspi women get new impetus in the fight for state pension compensation – “Support is growing” | Personal Finance | finance
The campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) has recruited high-level political figures to support its campaign. They have now received public pledges of support from leaders across the political spectrum, with the exception of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, has now pledged his support for Waspi’s women’s campaign for “fair and quick compensation” on behalf of 3.8 million women.
Davey joins Labor Party leaders, SNP and Plaid Cymru, who have also pledged their support.
In March, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer backed the Waspi women’s fight for compensation.
Activists refused to say how much compensation they expect, but calculate that women born in the 1950s lost an average of £50,000 in state pensions after the retirement age was raised from 60 to 66.
They argued that they had not received adequate advance warning of the change and many were unaware that they would have to work up to six more years until the last minute.
Express.co.uk has repeatedly highlighted the plight of Waspi women, who often have incredible tales of hardship to tell.
Many have struggled along on state benefits, often in poor health, while waiting for their state pension to kick in.
Some have died without even receiving a state pension.
Waspi women received a huge boost last year when the Parliament and Health Service Ombudsman ruled that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should have announced measures to raise their state retirement age.
It notes that this was a “malfunction” because women were not adequately informed of major changes to their state pension in the 1950s
READ MORE: Waspi woman’s desperate move after state pension snub burned fence
Davey said Waspi women had been ignored for years. “At a time when bills are skyrocketing, they are still fighting heroically for justice after changes to the state pension left them out of pocket.”
The Liberal Democrats want a fair deal for Waspi women, Davey added. “We believe the government has an obligation to compensate the women who have lost – through no fault of their own – and we will support any decisions by the Ombudsman on compensation.”
Hilary Simpson, leader of the 2018 Waspi campaign, said: “We are very grateful to the leaders of the main opposition parties for their support.”
She said failure to properly inform women of changes in their retirement age in the 1950s had “disastrous” consequences.
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“Women’s plans for retirement at 60 were suddenly thrown out of whack without warning. Some have had to sell or remortgage their homes, others have had to continue working despite illness, still others have had to give up commitments they had made to their families to look after grandchildren or elderly relatives.”
Simpson added: “All have been deprived – in some cases for up to six years – of the pension they expected at 60.
“When the Ombudsman makes a compensation decision, we expect Parliament to accept it without any ifs or buts and to implement it fairly and without delay.
“After many years of campaigning, we are demanding justice in the form of fair and speedy compensation before more 1950s women die – and we are not walking away,” Simpson added.
A DWP spokesman said the government decided more than 25 years ago to equalize state retirement ages for men and women as a long-overdue step towards gender equality. It insisted it had been supported by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal, which had found it had acted entirely lawfully and had not discriminated on any grounds.