Waspi Women Come Of Age As Pension Equality Rules Start

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Women who are 65 years old on or after November 6, 2018 are the first who must wait until the same age as a man to draw their state pension in the UK.

From now, the state pension age is linked for men and women – 65 now, rising to 66 by October 2020 and 67 by 2028.

But many argue the changes offer no equality as hundreds of thousand of women have suffered a significant financial disadvantage by disruption to their retirement plans without any compensation.

Women Against State Pension Inequality– referred to as ‘waspi women’ – have battled for recognition from the government that the changes are wrong since 2015 to no avail.

Their complaint is not so much that women born in the 1950s must work longer to receive their state pensions, but that they were not told about the impact pension equality laws would have on their retirement finances until it was too late to change their plans.

Bridging pension

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The first letters to each woman affected by the change went out in 2009 – 14 years after the first law was passed. Many say they were not told what was happening until 2012, although the changes started in 2011.

Waspi has urged the government to put a bridging pension in place to help those facing financial hardship from state pension equality rules.

But although the government admits more could have been done to communicate effectively with affected women, according to Pensions Minister Guy Opperman

“Full compensation would represent a cost of over £77 billion to the public purse,” he has said.

Equalisation is more than age

“These changes would require new legislation, which could mean an inequality potentially being created between men and women.”

The Department of Work and Pension estimates 3.8 million women, including expats, are affected by the pension equality rules.

According to Waspi, more than 8,000 have complained about their treatment.

“Equalisation is not just about the age you reach retirement, but also your ability to generate a full state pension entitlement, and pay into a private pension, to have any hope of security in retirement,” said Debbie de Spon, speaking for Waspi.

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