WASPI Protests Continue

Protests by the WASPI group (Women Against State Pension Inequality) are continuing at local and national levels. The Burton Mail reported at the weekend that a group of women from their area would be travelling to London to take part in a demonstration against changes to the State Pension Age –

“The campaign group works to fight against the ‘injustice done to women’ who were born in the 1950s in relation to their state pension. The rally will take place on March 8 which coincides with Budget Day and is also International Women’s Day…May Low, a co-ordinator of the Burton group, explained that in 1995 the Government changed the law so that the age at which a women could receive a state pension would move in line with men to 65… She said: “Of course we support bringing about equality in pensions between men and women. But the problem is that the government didn’t inform women when they made the change in 1995. Then, in 2011, the coalition government decided that the new pension age of 65 would be brought in two years earlier in 2018 and for both sexes it would rise to 66 in 2020. Again many women weren’t informed of this change either…We are still meeting women who genuinely believe they will get their pension at 60.The lack of notice has caused real problems, not allowing women time to plan for their later retirement and pushing many into financial hardship.”

Update – the government has rejected a petition asking for early access to their pension for women. They said that working longer would be better for the women’s health!

FT Adviser reports

“The government’s response read: “The points made in this petition have been considered by the government. No further changes can be justified given the underlying imperative must be to focus public resources on those most in need.”… The government claimed allowing early an retirement option would result in “additional cost to the state from the loss of taxes”, even if the payments themselves were not greater… It claimed that adding one year to working lives would result in “sustained increases” to GDP of over 1 per cent… It then addressed the health benefits of an extended working life… “Working longer can improve and maintain physical and mental health – evidence shows that making adjustments and changing working patterns can help older workers to manage health issues and stay in work,” the government stated… “Beyond financial matters, 38 per cent of retirees said they missed work for the ‘social interaction’, according to a DWP poll.”… The government claimed a reduced pension “would complicate state pension outcomes” and could increase demand for means-tested support amongst pensioners.”