State changes in retirement age: WASPI women describe plight – “invisible and worthless!” “| Personal Finances | Finance

The state retirement age was previously 60 for women in the UK, but the pension laws of 1995 and 2011, respectively, changed that. The legal retirement age for women has increased to equal that of men at 65, but both were subsequently raised to 66, and more changes are coming. Some, however, argued that they had not been given sufficient notice of the changes and were therefore adversely affected.

The changes affected an estimated 3.8 million women born in the 1950s.

One of the main organizations that has drawn attention to the issue is Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) – and their fight continues.

Earlier this year, the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO) discovered that there had been maladministration in the way changes were communicated by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Now the campaign is awaiting a decision on whether the ombudsman will recommend compensation to those affected.

This is a question raised by Angela Madden, president and chief financial officer of the WASPI campaign during a seminar with the Pensions Management Institute this week.

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This fact was referenced by Ms. Madden, and she added, “The DWP completely ignored the bad news and didn’t tell us about it. WASPI told all of this and more to the DWP, who ignored us and told us we were wrong.

“But we had this proof that they were wrong. They just weren’t interested. Can you imagine how it made us feel? Invisible, worthless, totally helpless.

“We made life changing decisions based on false information. “

The ombudsman added that the women concerned should have been informed at least 28 months earlier than they were of the changes.

As a result, WASPI highlighted the impact of failures on the lives of women.

Ms. Madden was quick to point out the glaring and historic differences that impacted women in the past and continue to emerge today.

She continued, “Things were different in the 1970s. The Equal Pay Act was still in its infancy, there was no subsidized child care, no child care allowance. paternity. Women were expected to give up work and take care of children – you had to give up your job because it was not open for you to come back.

“The rules for company pension plans were also very different. The entry threshold was high, excluding most part-time, low-paid workers.

“And many corporate programs have been allowed to exclude women. Back then, if you hadn’t contributed five full years to a pension plan when you left your job, you got your contributions back – you couldn’t transfer them.

Ms Madden highlighted the financial challenges facing this group of women, many of whom depend solely on state pensions for a source of income later in life.

Describing the issue as “devastating,” the president of WASPI lamented that there was no alternative plan for those affected at the time.

Finally, Ms. Madden was asked what difference compensation would make in the lives of 1950s women.

She concluded: “Some women would say it would revolutionize their lives. Some people have to make tough decisions about how little they have and what to spend it on.

“For example, we almost completely use the Internet for the campaign. But many WASPI women cannot afford the monthly internet fees at home, so they walk to the nearest library.

“But for the past 18 months, the libraries have been closed and we have had to work harder to keep these women informed.

“The women got into debt, depending on family members and loans. Women who have not received their state pension have to work in jobs they would rather not accept. Maybe they have to work at night or walk in the dark because they can’t afford to drive a car.

“It would make a big difference in all of our lives. This is what we need.

A DWP spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court has denied the plaintiffs leave to appeal.

“In a long overdue move towards gender equality, it was decided over 25 years ago that the state retirement age be the same for men and women. “

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