personal finance

WASPI women compensation explained – including who would benefit from payout

Millions of state pensioners could be due thousands of pounds in compensation as part of the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) dispute.

The issue affects more than three million women and they could get payouts of £10,000 or more.

What is the WASPI campaign?

The campaign was launched by women who were affected when the state pension age for women went up from 60 to 65 in 2018.

This was originally meant to happen in April 2020, with millions of women of this generation forced to postpone their retirement plans and continue working as a result.

Campaigners accused the DWP of failing to communicate the change properly and have demanded compensation as a result.

The PHSO (Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman) is considering the case and has already ruled there were errors on the part of the DWP in how the change was administered.

The ombudsman is now considering what compensation there should be as a result.

Who could get compensation?

The issue relates to the generation of women born in the 1950s who were affeced when the state pension age was pushed back when it increased from 60 to 65, in 2018, to make it the same as for men.

Those who were most affected were the 3.8 million women born between April 6, 1950 and April 5, 1960.

How much could the compensation be?

The PHSO has several bandings of compensation it can rule should be administered, with the highest of Level 6, where those affected get payouts of £10,000 or more.

MP Alan Brown recently put forward a bill to require the DWP to set out a compensation plan, and he recommended this top band of compensation should be applied.

He said in Parliament: “The lack of resolution for the 3.8 million WASPI women is a disgrace. Those 3.8 million women were given the bombshell that their state pension age was going to increase from 60 to 66 just as they were about to retire and it was too late to do any proper financial planning.

“Many were already in ill health or worse, and others had taken early retirement and were planning to get by until age 60, when they thought they would receive their state pension.”

“The figure of £10,000 is in line with the findings of the cross-party APPG for State Pension Inequality for Women, which concluded that the figures outlined in the Ombudsman’s Level 6 compensation scale are both necessary and proportionate.

Angela Madden, chair of the WASPI campaign, said: “More than 260,000 WASPI women have died since the campaign began and this tragic statistic reconfirms the urgent need for justice for all those affected, following the repeated failures by the DWP and successive administrations of all colours.

“The Government has shown it can act to end long-running injustices within a matter of weeks as seen with the Post Office scandal. WASPI women must finally be awarded the same dignity with swift action.”

A DWP spokesperson told previously: “The Government decided over 25 years ago it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women.

“Both the High Court and Court of Appeal have supported the actions of the DWP under successive governments dating back to 1995 and the Supreme Court refused the claimants permission to appeal.”

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