WASPI Women Plan Legal Sting In Pension Row

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

Lawyers are readying a legal challenge on behalf of thousands of women who feel cheated by state pension rules.

WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) have instructed solicitors to go to court over a move by the government to revise state pension rules that make them wait longer to collect their retirement cash.

Before the rules were changed, women born in the early 1950s had their state pension age set at 60 years old.

Their retirements were delayed to align with the state pension age for men at 65 years old by 2020 on the grounds of gender equality.

The result is thousands of women now have to work extra years before they can claim their state pensions.

Retirement plans in chaos

The protesters argue the decision came too late and was poorly explained, leading women to have to change their retirement plans at short notice.

WASPI argues that the decision to change the age when the state pension would start was not legal and that the poor explanation of the policy was maladministration by the Department of Work and Pensions.

The group has launched a crowdfunding appeal to pay for the legal action online.

“Further fundraising will provide the start of funding for us to engage in legal correspondence with the DWP and begin to pursue whichever legal challenge we are advised offers the best prospects for success.”

Meanwhile, WASPI is maintaining a campaign to raise awareness of their protests.

A petition with more than 270,000 signatures arguing against the unfairness of pension changes for women has been handed in at Downing Street and local protests are taking place around the country.

Pension minister stands firm

However, pensions minister Richard Harrington has reiterated government policy that no compensation will be paid to women born in the 1950s as a result of the state pension rule changes.

He also announced that no rule changes are underway and that WASPI protests will not change the government’s decision.

The WASPIs want a ‘bridging pension’ that will pay out when they reach 60 and last until the state pension kicks in.

“Many women discover only through our campaign that they’re not going to get their pension when they’d expected,” said Anne Keen, one of WASPI’s founder members.

“It wrecks their plans. Some people spend their savings and then face the indignity of signing on. They quite reasonably expected to be in receipt of the state pension and they hadn’t been told otherwise. Some of those who contact us are suicidal. It’s heartbreaking.”

15 thoughts on “WASPI Women Plan Legal Sting In Pension Row”

  1. They don’t seem to realise that the ECHR has already ruled on a case brought by a woman in 2008. They are wasting their money

    • It does seem like a waste of money. Would probably be put to better use raising awareness of the £3.5bn of pensioner benefits that go unclaimed every year.

  2. The raising of the state pension age from 60 to 66 in my own case, is theft by the government from the people. It states in the magna carta that this is illegal… This state pension which was due at 60 is not a benefit;it is a pension that has been put away for the future out of working womens wages ! weekly or monthly throughout their working lives ! sometimes with great difficulty when money was tight.Every one of these women is a mother or a sister a daughter or a neice. A carer for elderly parents ,siblings or grandchildren. And now on top of all this the government want them to work until they are 66 plus years old! Who do the government imagine will do all the aforementioned caring of the needy in all these womens families. Keep up the great work WASPi

    • The State Pension is defined in law as a benefit. While many people do not like to think of it as such, if Waspi are going through the courts they obviously need to take account of what the law actually says.

      Can you please explain which part of the Magna Carta prevents the equalisation/raising of state pension ages 800 years in the future?

  3. Born in 1956, I have lost at least £30k by this decision. I did not know about WASPI. I have heard today a meaningless statement re. transitional payments – none are available for those who were born in 1956. I am meticulous about paperwork, and there was little notice.
    WASPI, can you include in your pressuring of government these points:
    (i) How many, like me, retired at 60 with no income?
    (ii) My cohort, most left school at 16. If I had continued to work, I would have worked and contributed 50 years before my pension. Current day most go to University, have gap years, many do postgraduate study. Even if they were not given a pension until 70, they would not have contributed 50 years.
    (iii) Impact on Economy. My school cohort, most have like me, retired with no income. We are capable of budgeting, living frugally and have saved. What is the impact on the economy of families such as mine living frugally for six years until our pensions come into payment? Perhaps looking at the demise of BHS, downturn of Marks and Spencer, who cater for this age group, etc., gives an answer.

  4. WASPI need a good kick up the backside they have been dragging their feet for years and are no where near to getting this illegal breach of contract stopped any insurance wether it be national or public either keep to the conditions made and agreed or suffer the consequenses of being made to pay out by the courts any legal contract for insurance NOTE NOT BENEFITS is made the very first day money exchanges hands. By the way men have been also robbed by the additional two years being enforced on them about time you all got out on the streets. When speaking to a French friend he gasped and said not here not even for seven minutes the government would be out within a week.
    Regards BEN

  5. When I retired I had paid 29 years contributions in and only had to find one more year £700 approx to get full pension. Now not only been robbed of £40,000 in payments I have to pay another 6years contributions to get full pension at 66. Not fair I think. The government should not keep moving the goal posts!!!
    Claire G

  6. I was finished work after major surgery at the age of 62. Like many woman I have 48 years national insurance contributions. I have saved over the years and am now living off my savings. I am being hounded by Works and Pension having been assessed as able to work to get a job. My GP and Consultants say I am not able to work due to my condition. If my pension had not been changed to nearly age 65 I would i would not be having to use my hard saved money. I am not able to claim any benefits. In fact I have never claimed benefits. It is wrong that we have to work extra years. Who would employ a 63 year old with my illnesses.
    Well done WASPI for high lighting our plight.
    Patricia S.


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