WASPI women welcome new boost in ongoing fight for compensation – ‘not going away!’

WASPI woman says ‘I’ve paid in’ as she slams pension amount

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State pension age changes meant many women born in the 1950s were required to wait an additional six years – from 60 to 66 – to reach retirement age. Some argued they did not receive ample notice on the matter, creating financial and social challenges, as well as strain. 

It is now approaching a year since a major ruling was given by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) relating to state pension age changes.

The Ombudsman found the DWP should have provided women affected with more notice of moves to raise their state pension age.

It was ruled this was “maladministration” from the Department, due to a failure to provide adequate notice regarding the major changes. 

To mark the upcoming anniversary, campaigners from a group known as Women Against State Pension Injustice (WASPI) have asked their MPs to pledge support for their fight.

Their campaign calls for “fair and fast compensation” for women impacted by state pension age changes.

A major boost has been granted to the women as the first pledge from a Conservative MP has now been made.

Simon Fell, Tory MP for Barrow in Furness, has confirmed his support for the campaign by signing the WASPI pledge.

The campaign group states there are roughly 4,000 1950s-born women within Mr Fell’s constituency.

Mr Fell joins the pledges made by several MPs from both sides of the Commons, including Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru MPs

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The campaign group have expressed their delight at the latest development for their campaign.

Catherine Williams, co-ordinator of Barrow WASPI, said: “Simon Fell has been a consistent WASPI supporter. 

“We are delighted that he has signed the pledge to highlight our campaign for fair and fast compensation.

“The lack of notice had disastrous results. Women found that their plans for retirement at 60 were suddenly overturned without warning. 

“Some had to sell or re-mortgage their homes, others had to continue working despite ill health, and others had to abandon commitments they made to their families to provide care for grandchildren or elderly relatives. 

“All were deprived without proper notice of the pension which they had expected to receive at 60. We are asking for justice in the form of fair and fast compensation before more 1950s women die – and we are not going away!”

Express.co.uk has previously shared the stories of several women who argue they were negatively impacted by lack of notice regarding state pension age changes.

One widow shared her fears about the rising cost of energy bills, after the consecutive blows of the death of her husband and the news she would be receiving her pension six years later than expected.

Another widowed woman was undergoing chemotherapy treatment when she discovered she would have to work for another 18 months.

Mr Fell said the issue was about “fairness”, hence his backing of the ongoing campaign.

He added: “This is about making sure that people had sufficient notice that the arrangements for their pensions were changing.

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“In not meeting that bar, millions of women were disadvantaged, and some were hit particularly hard.

“I want to see that error righted, and so I am very glad to support the Barrow and Furness District WASPI group in Parliament.”

Hilary Simpson, the chair of WASPI’s National Steering Group, said she and the women impacted are still awaiting the decision from the Ombudsman regarding compensation.

However, she added she “expects Parliament to accept it without quibbling, and implement it fairly and without delay”.

Ms Simpson said: “All the Opposition party leaders have affirmed their commitment to this, but Conservative MPs have been slower to come forward. We are very grateful to Simon for his support.”

A DWP spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk that the Government decided to equalise the state pension age for men and women more than 25 years ago, as a long-overdue move towards gender equality.

It insisted that it had been supported by both the High Court and Court of Appeal, which found it acted entirely lawfully and did not discriminate on any grounds.

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