Women who lost their state pension for six years have won a symbolic triumph.
CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to keep fighting for millions of women who have lost up to six years of their state pension due to a lack of notice.
They have gained a symbolic victory after the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman concluded that they should have been given more notice of plans to raise the statutory retirement age from 60 to 66. Waspi (Women Against State Pension Inequality) has been fighting for redress on behalf of an estimated 3.8 million women born in the 1950s who have been denied benefits. They were subjected to maladministration, according to the ombudsman, because the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) informed them of the changes 28 months too late.
They should have been informed in December 2006, but the Department of Work and Pensions did not contact them until April 2009. The ombudsman does not have the authority to return lost pensions or pay damages, but she can propose that the government compensate the ladies.
Angela Madden, Waspi’s chairperson, said the judgment supported their argument that women should have been given more time to plan for retirement. She wants the government to reimburse the ladies who have been affected right away, rather than making them wait even longer while the ombudsman analyzes the situation.
She said that the Department of Work and Pensions’ inaction had a “devastating and life-altering impact on women across the country,” adding, “We cannot let a vicious circle of government inaction to continue.”
The DWP said that the High Court and Court of Appeal had endorsed its actions, and that the Supreme Court had denied the pension claimants’ request to appeal.