Pensions 

Waspi board warns of member data breach

Waspi board warns of member data breach

The new board of the Women Against State Pensions Inequality (Waspi) campaign has claimed former directors have been using the organisation’s databases to poll members about whether they should be reinstated to the leadership.

In a note from the board, reproduced on Twitter, it is alleged certain groups of members were asked whether they wanted to oust co-founder of the campaign group Anne Keen and her current board management.

The alleged poll revealed 98 per cent in favour of the ‘option 1’, which also states: “In the event of a vote of no confidence being successful, the original board, without Anne Keen, could be reformed only to organise a proper handover of assets to a new, suitable recruited and qualified board of directors.”

Waspi’s board reformed following a recent leadership spat which saw five directors resign to be replaced by four new ones on 21 February.

The organisation said it would not honour the results of the poll.

It told FT Adviser: “There have also been issues regarding data protection with the former directors using Waspi databases to poll the membership about whether they should be re-instated despite the fact that they voluntarily resigned with immediate effect.

"This is highly concerning. Not only do the former directors have no right to access this database, there has been little transparency throughout the process. 

“No results have been published and there is no proof that all the membership were given the right to vote.”

The Waspi campaign is fighting to help women affected by an increase in the state pension age to 65 – the same age as for men.

The movement claims that while the 1995 Conservative government's Pensions Act included plans to increase the women's state pension age 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.

But problems at the top of the organisation meant a legal case to be brought against the government has now been put on hold.

Some commentators on Twitter said Waspi’s infighting means the group has lost its political effectiveness.

But the campaign maintains it is still going strong.

It told FT Adviser: “We are still a political force and have many exciting campaigning activities planned for the coming months. 

“We are working to resolve the situation to the best of our ability and would like to reassure our members and wider supporters that we will not let the current difficulties stop us.”

The group also claims it has been unable to access company funds for a number of weeks and that it is taking action over the removal of £40,000 from its account, which it says was "without authorisation". 

It is also changing the signatories on the account.

carmen.reichman@ft.com

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