Wirral MP pledges support to 1950s-born women affected by State Pension age rise

Margaret Greenwood MP has backed calls for compensation for women born in the 1950s who were affected by government failures to communicate with them about the rise in their State Pension age from 60 to 66.   

The MP for Wirral West was among a group of Labour MPs who met with Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) and WASPI2018 campaigners in parliament to hear their calls for a one-off compensation payment for those women affected.  

The issue is thought to affect over 3.6 million women born in the 1950s. 

Some women were given only 12 months’ notice of a six-year increase to their retirement age, meaning many had already left work in anticipation of a pension at 60, or that they had very little time to alter retirement plans. WASPI argue that many have suffered significant financial hardship and emotional turmoil as a result.  

Over a year ago, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) found the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) guilty of maladministration in its handling of the changes, failing to inform women even when it became clear that many had no idea their retirement would be delayed by up to six years.   

The PHSO found: “The opportunity that additional notice would have given them to adjust their retirement plans was lost… Despite having identified there was more it could do, it failed to provide the public with as full information as possible.” 

The PHSO is due to issue a further report in the coming weeks with more recommendations on how the government could remedy the situation. 

WASPI campaigners have been pointing to the need for fair and fast compensation, particularly in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis. Research commissioned by the group has found that 9,000 WASPI women will die this winter waiting for justice.  

Margaret Greenwood MP said, “Many women born in the 1950s have suffered both financial and emotional hardship because of the lack of reasonable notice given by the DWP to changes in their State Pension age. 

“WASPI campaigners are not calling for full compensation for the money that they have lost, but they are calling for compensation for the anxiety and distress caused by maladministration on the part of the DWP.  

“I pay tribute to WASPI women who have campaigned tirelessly for justice. Not only have they held the DWP to account, they have highlighted the impact of poverty that many have experienced as a result. 

“I support them in their quest for fair and fast compensation.”  

In a joint statement, Chair of WASPI Angela Madden, and Chair of WASPI2018 Hilary Simpson, said:  

“We are very grateful to Margaret Greenwood MP for her support.  

“Getting support from MPs is crucial in putting pressure on the government to pull its head out the sand and begin engaging with us.  

“We urge anyone who believes in social justice to join us in campaigning for the 3.6 million women affected by DWP maladministration.” 

Image: Margaret Greenwood with Angela Madden (left) and Hilary Simpson (right) 

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