The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) is dealing with more than 2,800 complaints about the equalisation of the state pension age.
As part of a legal campaign, thousands of women from across the country have submitted, and continue to submit, complaints against the DWP regarding what they call an inadequate communication of changes to the state pension age.
The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) movement has been at the forefront of this campaign, claiming that while the 1995 Conservative government's Pension Act included plans to increase the women’s state pension age to 65 – the same as men's – the changes were implemented unfairly, with little or no personal notice.
The group also claimed that the 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.
The progress on these complaints, submitted to the Independent Case Examiner (ICE), has been slow, with many women previously reporting unnecessary delays because of errors with their correspondence and lost documents.
Kit Malthouse, minister for family support, said yesterday (14 May) in a written answer to Parliament that the examiner had 2,841 complaints regarding this matter as of 10 May, at various stages of the process.
He also said that the examiner has a dedicated team of three investigation case managers examining this group of complaints.
In November, Bindmans, a firm which was assisting the campaign, achieved a breakthrough in this case, as the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman agreed to intervene to speed up responses to complaints.
At the time, it was said that the investigation would focus on a representative sample of complaints and how any such maladministration should be addressed, which was expected to speed up the process significantly.
However, Bindmans is no longer supporting Waspi, due to an internal dispute.
In the meantime, the Scottish Parliament has passed a motion to support women born in the 1950s affected by an increase in the state pension age.