WASPI celebrates step forward in state pension age campaign

WASPI woman says she ‘doesn’t know which way to turn’

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State pension age changes meant many more women have had to wait longer than they expected to receive their sum. In the past, state pension age was 60 for women and 65 for men, but this was equalised to 65 for both sexes, and then raised to 66.

The change has impacted women born in the 1950s, many of whom argue they were not amply notified and have therefore suffered financially and emotionally as a consequence.

Campaign groups such as Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) have raised awareness about the impacts for affected women.

In a step forward for the campaign, a DWP minister has agreed to meet with a Labour MP to discuss the matter.

A question surrounding the campaign was raised by Newport West MP, Ruth Jones.

Speaking in the Commons, she said: “These WASPI women have shown incredible perseverance and tenacity over the years. So, can the Minister set out the steps being taken to address this injustice?

“If she can’t meet these women because of the ongoing investigation, then will she meet with me to discuss this issue at the earliest possible opportunity?”

Laura Trott is the new Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the DWP, and was quick to respond.

She said: “I would be happy to meet with the Honourable Lady.

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“But I would also point out the state pension system corrects some of the historic inequalities of the previous system.

“It produces considerably higher outcomes for women.”

The WASPI campaign appeared well-pleased by this promise by a member of the Government.

Taking to Facebook, they commented: “Long time supporter of WASPI asking a pertinent question in Parliament.

“Reply by Laura Trott MP, who agreed to meet. Progress! Thank you, Ruth. WASPI will follow up on this.”

However, several WASPI women remain frustrated about the Government’s response to the matter.

Dena Hunt wrote: “My ‘considerably higher outcome’ is a loss of £54,000 and six years of family life I will never get back!”

Diane Bennett said: “We are the last living generation that has been most affected by gender inequality throughout our lives. No way could most of us plan for retirement even without the moving of the goalposts. 

“It is dreadfully sad to realise that we don’t matter.”

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While Chris Phillips remarked: “We won’t get justice, because it doesn’t affect them.”

WASPI is not against equalisation of the state pension age, but states it does not accept the way the changes were implemented.

A DWP spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “The Government decided over 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality. 

“Both the High Court and Court of Appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive Governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court refused the claimants permission to appeal.”

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