State Pension 

Waspi directors resign due to irreconcilable differences

Waspi directors resign due to irreconcilable differences

Several directors of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) have resigned citing "irreconcilable differences" in the campaign board of directors.

According to Companies House, Jane Cowley, Angela Christina Madden and Susan Beevers had their appointment as directors of the movement designed to help women affected by an increase in the state pension age terminated yesterday (20 February).

Ms Beevers confirmed her resignation to FTAdviser.

She said: "The situation is that there has been a very, very hard working relationship with the board of directors, and we had an emergency board meeting in January, and we were trying to resolve differences.

"Arising from that there has been four resignations, and one [more] person has indicated intentions to resign."

She declined to comment, however, on what are the reasons for these differences, or what is the name of the fourth director that has resigned.

The Waspi movement claims that while the 1995 Conservative government's Pensions Act included plans to increase the women's state pension age to 65 – the same age as men's – the changes were implemented unfairly, with little or no personal notice.

The group also said changes were implemented faster than promised with the 2011 Pension Act and left women with no time to make alternative plans, leading to devastating consequences.

This is not the first time that divisions have arisen amid Waspi ranks.

In 2016, two of the five founders announced the Waspi campaign had split from the other three, and would be pursuing a new strategy, involving the recruitment of a large number of campaign organisers, under the same Waspi banner.

The government has been maintaining the same position on this matter, and recently denied once again requests to help Waspi women, saying assistance would be unaffordable and cannot be justified.

According to Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, the Waspi campaign "has burst blood vessels in their attempts to get the government to give ground and compensate women whose retirement ages were increased".

He said: "However, the government remains steadfast in its position that no more concessions will be offered and Labour, while making a lot of noise about supporting the Waspi cause, has never really articulated what it would do to help these women.

"Ultimately we will reach a point soon where the women affected hit their new retirement age, at which point any action would need to be the retrospective payment of compensation. This would lead to accusations of intergenerational unfairness and seems highly unlikely to happen."

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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