With the EU Referendum likely to dominate politics until June 23rd and beyond, it would be easy to forget there are other important matters. One of them, which could carry a sting in the tail for the Government, is the WASPI campaign.
WASPI, which stands for Women Against State Pension Inequality, is campaigning on behalf of women unfairly impacted by plans to equalise women’s State Pension Age with men’s. Since the 1940’s women have expected to receive their State Pension at 60 but Pension Acts in 1995 and 2011 changed that to 66. Women born on or after 6 April 1951 were the ones most affected and although many accept, sometimes reluctantly, the need for raising the retirement age, WASPI’s key complaint is the Government’s failure to provide timely or proper information about the changes. In short many women only found out as they approached 60 that they would have to wait 6 years longer without time to prepare alternative pension plans.
The Work and Pensions Select Committee called on the Government to make up for their mishandling and the Commons has voted in favour of the women affected. The Government response, a review, doesn’t address the main concerns. 2.6 million women are affected, some live in my constituency. A court challenge may be possible and a petition of Parliament is being prepared. Anyone who believes they may be affected should get in touch with their MP.