State Pension  

Waspi anger over Queen's Speech

Waspi anger over Queen's Speech

Waspi - the campaign group for fairness in women's state pension ages - has slammed the government for failing to tackle pensions inequality in the Queen's Speech.

In a statement issued by the campaign group yesterday (Thursday 22 June), Waspi stated it was "very disappointed the government made no mention of Wasp in the Queen's speech."

Although it expressed gratitude that so many candidates in the run-up to the general election on 8 June had pledged to work in parliament to find a solution to inequality in pensions, the group commented: "Since then, there has been no recognition from government of the severe financial hardship faced by women across the country because of the mismanagement of changes to the state pension age."

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They highlighted moves from the Scottish National Party, whose Westminster Leader Ian Blackford raised the Waspi campaign in parliament following the Queen's speech, but claimed this act was "not enough".

Mr Blackford, responding to the speech, had said: "It is utterly disgraceful that some of the worst-affected women were given 14 months' written notice of an increase in their pensionable age."

The statement added: "We need to take forward discussions with Waspi as a matter of urgency, and have written to the secretary of state with a request to meet with us to discuss how we can achieve fairness and justice for all women, regardless of their background and financial situation."

The lack of pensions overall in the speech has been criticised by other parts of the pensions industry.

Of the 27 bills that were mentioned in the Queen's Speech to parliament, eight related to Brexit but there was no mention of various points of contention in the run-up to the election, such as elderly care plus proposals to axe the winter fuel allowance for pensioners.

Instead, several measures were put out for consultation, which Sir Steve Webb, head of policy for Royal London, told FTAdviser was basically: "Kicking difficult issues into the long grass."

Moreover, although huge strides had been made pre-election in cracking down on pension cold calling and scams, the much-awaited detail on the Pensions Bill was not forthcoming.

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said: “We had hoped to see a new Pension Bill to address issues highlighted by the pension industry over a number of years to give savers greater protection.

"The Queen’s Speech was disturbingly quiet on any legislation to ban pension cold-calling or give schemes and providers greater powers to block suspicious transfers."

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com