Equity supports WASPI campaign

Equity is supporting the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign, which was established to fight the injustice caused to women born on or after 6 April 1951 through the delay in their state pension age (SPA). In many cases these delays were introduced without any adequate notice which has resulted in financial hardship for many women. 

The first increase in women’s state pension age was brought in by the Pensions Act 1995 which equalised men and women’s pension age to 65 over a ten year period from April 2010. The government did not notify any women by letter of these changes until nearly 14 years after 1995 and some never received a letter. Any other form of notice provided was both patchy and inadequate.

The Pension Act 2011 further accelerated the changes by bringing in a faster equalisation of men and women’s state pension age – it also accelerated the timetable for the rise in the SPA to 66. This change particularly affected women born from 6 April 1953. They got letters between the ages of 57 and nearly 59 telling them that their state pension age would no longer be 60.

Since 2015 WASPI has been fighting for some form of compensation for the women affected by these changes either through transitional protection by way of a bridging pension or by way of compensation for maladministration caused by the wholly inadequate notice given of the changes. We as a union totally support this and think it important for any members affected by the 1995 and 2011 changes to put in a formal complaint to the DWP so that their interest in receiving transitional protection and/or compensation is registered. WASPI have produced a template letter to do this which can be found at the following link:

http://waspi.co.uk/dwp-template-letters

The initial letter to use is the Template First Letter to the Pensions Service and there are then other letters to use as you go through the complaints process. A guide to the whole complaints process is available on the WASPI website on this page:

http://www.waspi.co.uk/action

Please note that if you are already in receipt of state retirement pension we would suggest changing the second to last paragraph of the Template First Letter to read as follows:

“I would suggest that this situation can be remedied by providing me with compensation for the years I had to wait for the state pension income and for the unnecessary suffering outlined at (3) above”.

The union will be following up with further work on this but in the meantime if you have any questions please contact either Alan Lean, Tax & Welfare Rights Officer on 020 7670 0251 or Ian Manborde, Equalities and Diversity Organiser on 020 7670 0273.