Previously, the state pension age was 60 for women and 65 for men, but under the Pensions Act 1995 and the Pensions Act 2011, the state pension age for women has risen to become in-line with men – reaching 65 in November 2018 ahead of further increases. There are a number of campaign groups who oppose the changes to the state pension age for women, with those affected being women born in the 1950s.
The WASPI campaign opposes how the changes were introduced, but the campaign group support the principle of state pension equalisation.
Ahead of the General Election 2019, some party manifestos have been launched.
This week, the Liberal Democrats pledged to ensure that women affected by the state pension age changes are “properly compensated”, adding that this would be “in line with the recommendations of the parliamentary ombudsman”.
The manifesto commitment on support for pensioners read: “We will: Retain the Triple Lock on the basic state pension, so that it rises in line with the highest of wages, prices or 2.5 per cent.
“Ensure that the women born in the 1950s are properly compensated for the failure of government to properly notify them of changes to the state pension age, in line with the recommendations of the parliamentary ombudsman.
“Address continuing inequalities in pensions law for those in same-sex relationships.”
Responding to the pledge, WASPI told Express.co.uk: “WASPI welcome the Liberal Democrats commitment to compensate 1950s born women, especially its pledge to respect the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s recommendations.
“Maladministration has been the crux of WASPI’s campaign and we have pursued action through the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) who are currently deciding whether to continue investigating the complaints they have received following the unsuccessful judicial review.
“WASPI is also pleased to see a commitment to addressing pension inequalities in same-sex couples as WASPI women in same-sex relationships have been doubly discriminated against resulting in tens of thousands of pounds being lost due to changes to their State Pension age.”
In the event of the PHSO deciding not to continue investigating the matter, the Liberal Democrats pledged to support an independent review in order to determine “what compensation should be provided”.
Liberal Democrat DWP Spokesperson, Tim Farron, told Express.co.uk: “A Liberal Democrat government will ensure that women born in the 1950s are properly compensated for the failure of government to properly notify them of changes to the state pension age.
“Successive Governments have failed to adequately communicate to women the changes made to State Pension Age since 1995.
“There is an ongoing investigation by the Parliamentary Ombudsman into this.
“If the Ombudsman finds that malpractice has occurred, it should recommend an appropriate level of compensation to be paid, which the party would endorse.
“If the Ombudsman decides not to continue investigating, we would support an independent review to determine what compensation should be provided.”
The Labour Party has also pledged support for women affected by the state pension age changes.
In the manifesto: “Under the Tories, 400,000 pensioners have been pushed into poverty and a generation of women born in the 1950s have had their pension age changed without fair notification.
“This betrayal left millions of women with no time to make alternative plans – with sometimes devastating personal consequences.
“Labour recognises this injustice, and will work with these women to design a system of recompense for the losses and insecurity they have suffered.
“We will ensure that such an injustice can never happen again by legislating to prevent accrued rights to the state pension from being changed.”
Meanwhile, the Green Party has proposed the delivery of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), with the “first tranche” of people to receive it being women born in the 1950s.
Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, told Express.co.uk: “Our Universal Basic Income policy will create a safety net for every single person in the UK.
“The first people that would receive this payment would be WASPI Women.
“We’ve supported WASPIs through their campaign and putting them first in the queue is our way of repaying their lifetime of contributions to society and repairing the injustice caused by the pension age changes.
“That’s why within the first three months of a Green Government taking office, every single WASPI woman would receive a weekly payment, which would increase to £178 a week within two years.”