State Pension  

Lib Dems promise end to Waspi woes

Lib Dems promise end to Waspi woes

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to help women born in the 1950s who have been the first affected by a sharp rise in the state pension age.

They party has proposed they are “properly compensated for the failure of government to properly notify them of changes to the state pension age”.

This was one of the motions approved in the party’s annual conference, currently underway in Bournemouth.

In the motion document, the party stated that the government’s failure to sufficiently notify these women to the changes to their retirement age “has meant that people have been left unable to properly plan for their retirement, and it is right that they are compensated for this”.

Plans to increase the state pension age were first announced in the Pension Act 1995 but these changes were accelerated as part of the Pension Act 2011.

Campaign groups The Women Against State Pension Inequality and Backto60 have claimed these changes were implemented unfairly, with little or no personal notice.

The groups, which are calling for compensation for those affected, have also claimed that 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 compensation will be decided in line with the recommendations of the parliamentary ombudsmen, the Lib Dems stated.

However, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman – which had selected six complaints to act as lead cases to set a precedent for thousands of others – halted such process due to a judicial review which took place in June.

Two claimants - Julie Delve, 61, and Karen Glynn, 62 - argued that raising their pension age "unlawfully discriminated against them on the grounds of age, sex, and age and sex combined". A judgement has been reserved.

This is not the first time the party has proposed a solution for women born in the 1950s, with a plan for the government to give £15,000 to each affected women suggested in January 2018.

The Lib Dems also vowed to maintain the triple lock in the state pension - which ensures annual levels rise in accordance with whichever is highest among the rate of inflation, average earnings, or 2.5 per cent – and to “reform the current regressive system of pension tax relief”.

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, and recently appointed shadow secretary of state for Work and Pensions, said: “It [the motion] commits the party to a radical shake-up of how we look after the least well-off in our society - and I can’t wait to get started.”

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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