personal finance

WASPI women victory as 200,000 sign petition demanding huge change

A petition demanding an urgent parliamentary debate on compensation for the WASPI women has reached 200,000 signatures.

The petition was launched less than two weeks ago on by Angela Madden, the chair of Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI).

It was started in response to both Labour and the Conservatives failing to commit to paying compensation, despite a damning report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) last month.

The report confirmed the Ombudsman did find a failure by the DWP, noting that “too many” people didn’t understand how the new state pension affected them personally and ruled that “women affected are owed compensation payments”.

The ombudsman highlighted that the DWP has never officially acknowledged any failings regarding WASPI women’s state pensions.

The original WASPI 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.

The WASPI group claims this affected around 2.6million women who have missed out on up to £50,000 due to the increase in the age limit. Since launching its campaign, the group estimates more than 270,000 who were impacted have died – an average of one every 13 minutes.

Angela Madden said: “The Commons must urgently have the opportunity to debate and vote on their proposals, and any others that MPs wish to bring forward.

“After all, with 3.5m affected – and one dying every 13 minutes – everyone knows somebody who has been affected by the DWP’s incompetence and neglect of 1950s-born women.”

On March 25, Mel Stride MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, made a statement to the House of Commons regarding the PHSO’s final report, but did not commit to a timetable for addressing compensation. Parliament is currently on Easter recess until April 15.

On those that backed the petition have left comments in support of the campaign with some claiming they felt “cheated” out of their money.

One backer named Lesley Thomas said: “As a 70 year old with multiple health conditions, it would have been favourable for me to have been entitled to my pension earlier than aged 67. Many women are carers and so their state pension is often their only income.”

Another backer, Christina Ellement, said: “I have suffered financially and mentally due to this change which I wasn’t aware of. I had to work longer while suffering from hip pain and mental illness which has had a massive impact on my wellbeing.”


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