Women affected by change in state pension age ‘are owed compensation’, report finds

UK

A long-awaited report on how women born in the 1950s were affected by increases to their retirement age has recommended they are owed compensation.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has been looking at potential injustices resulting from the decision to raise women’s retirement age to bring it into line with men’s.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) say millions suffered financially as they were not given sufficient warning to prepare for the change.

The report said in addition to paying compensation, we have made it clear that DWP should acknowledge its failings and apologise for the impact it has had on complainants and others similarly affected.

PHSO chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath, said: ”The UK’s national Ombudsman has made a finding of failings by DWP in this case and has ruled that the women affected are owed compensation. DWP has clearly indicated that it will refuse to comply. This is unacceptable. The Department must do the right thing and it must be held to account for failure to do so.  

“Complainants should not have to wait and see whether DWP will take action to rectify its failings. Given the significant concerns we have that it will fail to act on our findings and given the need to make things right for the affected women as soon as possible, we have proactively asked Parliament to intervene and hold the Department to account.
“Parliament now needs to act swiftly, and make sure a compensation scheme is established. We think this will provide women with the quickest route to remedy.”  

The campaign group has spent years fighting for compensation.

More on Pensions

The state pension age was aligned to match men in a move praised for improving gender equality.

For decades, men had retired at 65 while women had retired at 60.

A law was passed in 1995 setting out a timetable to eventually raise the retirement age for women so it would match the age for men.

Read More:
Generation of women in debt after state pension fallout

The original plan was to phase in the change over a 10-year period between 2010 and 2020 to allow people sufficient time to plan ahead.

However, in 2011 the coalition government accelerated the shift to reduce costs, with the increase in retirement age brought forward to 2018.

Waspi agrees with the equalisation of ages, but says they were not properly informed of the changes, giving them insufficient time to prepare or make other financial arrangements.

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