Government ‘banking on the grim reaper’ says pension equality campaigners revealing ‘appalling’ figures which suggest that 220,000 women will have died waiting for justice

NEW figures suggest that almost a quarter of a million women will have died waiting for pension compensation by the end of this year.

Monday, 28th March 2022, 2:38 pm
Updated Monday, 28th March 2022, 2:39 pm

The coordinator of a Solent group campaigning for pension equality for women born in the 1950s has said that these ‘appalling’ numbers highlight the need for immediate action from the government.

The detailed analysis carried out by Statista shows 220,190 women will have died in the seven years since a campaign started to get women born in the 1950s compensation for failures to inform them about the pension age moving from 60 to 66.

The research was commissioned by Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), and suggests that over the course of the seven years since WASPI started campaigning, the government will have saved £3.8bn on compensation likely to be awarded to those affected.

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The Solent WASPI group. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Shelagh Simmons is the coordinator for Solent WASPI, which covers the Portsmouth area.

She said: ‘These appalling figures underline the urgency of resolving this injustice.

‘We call on the government to do the right thing and bring this shameful episode to an end. ‘We have already waited far too long.

‘The government should not have to be dragged kicking and screaming to make redress for its mistakes.

‘And, sadly, for some 1950s women it is already too late; they will never get the justice they are due.’

WASPI’s figures show that over the course of the pandemic, 1 in 10 women who died was affected by these uncommunicated changes and lost both their state pension income and the opportunity to make alternative retirement plans. It also suggests that another dies every 15 minutes.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has found that the Department for Work and Pensions is guilty of maladministration.

Changes to the State Pension age, which were legislated for in 1995, were not communicated through targeted letters to the affected women until 2008.

Angela Madden, WASPI spokeswoman, said: ‘The government’s strategy of delaying inevitable compensation payments is a cynical attempt to time women out of what they are due.

‘The chancellor is effectively banking on the grim reaper saving him more and more money each year, leaving women struggling to pay their bills in retirement and lacking in trust in government.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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