WASPI Pension Fight Rallies Support From MPs

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Cross-party support is growing for women campaigning against changes to state pension age that have left them facing financial hardship in retirement.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is angry that women born in the 1950s were not told soon enough about plans to increase the state pension age for women in line with men.

This oversight has left almost 4 million women with a pension shortfall and no time to make up the shortfall, the group claims.

Now, 184 of Westminster’s 650 MPs have rallied behind the WASPI banner.

WASPI director Jane Cowley said: “The support for the WASPI campaign has grown significantly as parliamentarians have taken notice of the plight of women who have been negatively impacted by the mismanagement of increases to the state pension age by successive governments.

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Call to change unfair rules

“Our general election WASPI pledge campaign, and the subsequent early day motion and the Westminster Hall Debate in July, show that there is cross party support from the Conservatives, Labour, the SNP, the Liberal Democrats and the DUP.

“These Parliamentarians understand that this is about the fundamental trust between the Government and ordinary people and the unfair way in which the changes were implemented. We eagerly await the details of both the bill and the motion of the opposition day debate. We will continue to fight this injustice until the Government re-evaluates its position.”

The WASPI campaign wants the government to change the state pension age timetable.

The measure aims to equalise the women’s state pension age with men at a faster rate than planned – taking the bar from 60 to 65 years old by December 2018 and then to 66 by October 2020.

No plans for change

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “The decision to equalise the state pension age between men and women was made over 20 years ago and achieves a long-overdue move towards gender equality, something that is both fair and sustainable for future generations and in line with continuing rises in life expectancy.

“This was voted on in Parliament and previous Governments have legislated accordingly. All parties have agreed to the need to raise the pension age and have legislated to do that. There are no plans to change the transitional arrangements already in place.

Women retiring today can still expect to receive the state pension for 26 years on average – which is more than any generation before them and several years longer than men.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. Treating people the same is not treating them equally. Equality is about treating people differently according to their needs and circumstances so as to level the playing field for everyone.

    Women born in the 50’s and 60’s were greatly disadvantaged by the system compared to their male counterparts, with less opportunities in education, career options and pay (since equal pay legislation was not effective then, and even when it was, women were still largely restricted in women’s jobs so were paid less anyway). This meant these women had lesser earnng power and were therefore less able to provide for their retirement. To truly have gender equality the government should have taken this into account.

    Simply slapping an increase in these womens’ pension age at the end of their working life has increased gender inequality as it has failed to take account of the inequalities which impacted on them at the start of it.

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