Pensions 

Waspi marches on parliament on International Women’s Day

Waspi marches on parliament on International Women’s Day

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) organisation are set to stage a rally at Westminster later today (8 March) to spread awareness of their case on International Women’s Day.

The women, who were born in the 1950s and have had access to their state pension delayed after the government made the retirement age 65 for both men and women, will lobby MPs later today.

The increase to the state pension age was introduced in 1995, but the women claim that they were not informed of the change at the time.

Around 2.6m women now in their 50s and 60s have been affected by the age increase, which Waspi have said that they were not informed of until 2009, some 14 years after the change was made.

The Waspi Voice faction of the movement launched a parliamentary petition last month calling for women born in the 1950s to be allowed early access to their state pension.

The government has since rejected the petition on the grounds that it would harm the economy and would be complicated for actuaries to process, and that working longer is good for physical and mental health.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said that any changes to state pension age should have happened fairly and that no one should have to be worse off financially because of changes they did not know about.

He called International Women’s Day the “perfect opportunity” for the government to right the wrong done to these women.

“The government should stop looking the other way and come up with a plan that compensates the millions of women hit by the move.

“Women who’ve retired or who are nearing retirement shouldn’t be experiencing financial hardship through no fault of their own. Had ministers been more on the ball at the time, the women could have put aside extra money to see them through into their old age.”

The Waspi rally will take place on Old Palace Yard, Abingdon Street, Westminster, from 1pm today, and the lobby of Parliament is scheduled from 3pm to 5 pm in Committee Room 16.

julia.faurschou@ft.com

 

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