Pensions  

Waspi calls for immediate state pension compensation

Waspi calls for immediate state pension compensation
 

A campaign group is calling for immediate redress after research showed that nearly a quarter of a million women will have died waiting for pension compensation by the end of this year.

Research commissioned by the women against state pension inequality (Waspi) showed by the end of this year, 220,190 women will have died in the seven years since the Waspi campaign started.

The group has called for an immediate one-off payment to affected women of between £11,666 and £20,000, with the most going towards women who were given the shortest notice of the increase in their state pension age.

Waspi also claimed that the government has saved £3.8bn on compensation likely to be given to those affected who have passed away in the meantime.

Angela Madden, a spokesperson for Waspi, said the government’s “strategy” of delaying compensation payments is a “cynical attempt” to time women out of what they are due.

"The chancellor is effectively banking on the grim reaper saving him more and more money each year, leaving women struggling to pay their bills in retirement and lacking in trust in government," she said.

"Since the ombudsman has already found that women born in the 1950s were mistreated, the right thing to do is to put in place a compensation package right away. 

"Doing so would end the agony for millions of women who have been emotionally, physically and financially affected by mistakes made in government."

Andrew Gwynne MP, co-chair for the all-party parliamentary group state pension inequality for women said the figures are “absolutely shocking”

"[Affected women] were not properly informed of changes to their state pension age and were not given the tailored and targeted information they required to make reasonable adjustments to their retirement plans," he said.

"Despite these findings, the government continues to turn a blind eye and prevaricate on the issue."

A spokesperson for the DWP noted that the ombudsman investigation is still ongoing, and it would be wrong to claim compensation or other forms of official redress.

“We support millions of people every year and our priority is ensuring they get the help and support to which they are entitled," they said.

"The government decided over 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality.

"Both the high court and court of appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the supreme court refused the claimants permission to appeal.”

Women’s pension age: what happened?

Campaign groups BackTo60 and Waspi claimed that when the 1995 Conservative government’s Pensions Act included plans to raise the women’s state pension age to 65 — the same as men’s — the changes were implemented unfairly, with little or no personal notice.

Last summer, the PHSO found the DWP had failed in its communications of these changes.

In the report released in July, the ombudsman said the DWP had communicated adequately the planned female pension age rises between 1995, when the change was first legislated for, and 2004.