The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign was started by five women fighting against the unfair treatment of women born in the 1950s (on or after 6 April 1950) through an increase to their state pension age. The changes were drawn up with little or no personal notice, with a faster than promised implementation and without enough time for women born in the 1950s to make alternative plans. Thousands of women will not receive their state pension on the date they planned for, and will have to work longer than expected or could face financial hardship in retirement.
For more information on who WASPI are and what they are doing visit their website
Many PCS members are directly affected. The public sector pay cap has effectively led to a wage cut. This makes it more difficult to plan for the future when you are already dealing with meeting everyday costs.
PCS continues to work to break the public sector pay cap and lobby government ministers though our Parliamentary Group.
The increase in the state pension age for women was introduced too fast and with too little notice to make the necessary life changes. All women born after April 1950 are affected, but women born between April 1950 and December 1959 have not had enough time to make alternative plans.
Government advisors were clear that changes like this should only happen with at least 10-15 years’ notice but in practice, notification letters were only sent out to affected women 14 years after the 1995 Pensions Act in 2009.
Many received this information with just one year’s notice of the change.
Very many others received only 3, 4 or 5 years’ notice and many women report receiving NO letter at all.
The WASPI campaign is clear that it supports the equalisation of the state pension age between men and women but does not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented.
Although men have also had their state pension age changed too, this campaign is about women. That is because in terms of formal notice it is clear that women have been treated unfavourably compared to men. A large percentage of these women were given as little as one or two years’ notice of up to a 6 year increase to their State Pension Age, compared to men who received 6 years’ notice of a one year rise in their State Pension Age.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Download and display the poster on your noticeboard.
If you are affected by the changes and were born between 6 April 1950 and 31 December 1959 then there are many things you can do.
- You can join your local WASPI campaign group
- Write to your MP to ask them to raise the issue in any way they can
- You can make a personal complaint to the Department of Work and Pensions for maladministration
‘WASPI women’ are beginning to overwhelm the DWP with their official letters of complaint, which form part of the legal action that WASPI is taking against the government. The WASPI campaign has developed guidance on how you can make a formal complaint to the government department responsible for this maladministration.
If the complaints are successful, the Parliamentary Ombudsman can recommend that the government restore the women who have complained to the same financial position as if the maladministration had not happened.
It may be that the Parliamentary Ombudsman could recommend compensation for all women affected by the pension age changes, but there is no guarantee that this will happen. So, to be sure of receiving any possible future compensation, WASPI recommend that everyone affected should take action and send in their own complaint to the DWP.
PCS fully supports the WASPI campaign and all members affected.