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Q&A - Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI)

(90 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 11-Sep-17 14:48:11

As many of you will already know from the various discussions we've had on the subject, WASPI is a campaigning group representing almost 3.5 million women born in the 1950s who have been negatively impacted by the lack of notification of the increases in their State Pension age.

WASPI is campaigning to end the huge financial difficulties suffered by this group of women because of the way the changes in the 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts were implemented. Successive Governments did not give the women affected by these changes sufficient notice that their State Pension age would be increasing, meaning that WASPI women have had no time to put in place alternative financial arrangements to see them through to the new state retirement age. Some women have lost as much as £45,000.

Founded by just five ordinary women in 2015, the WASPI movement has grown and now has over 70,000 supporters and 140 local groups across the UK. WASPI has secured support from the Labour, SNP, DUP and Women and Equalities parties and has raised £100,000 through CrowdJustice to fund an initial legal campaign.

Jane Cowley is Communications and PR Director for WASPI and has directed the Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign since 2016. Like so many WASPI women, Jane heard in 2011, only after she had taken early retirement, that she would not receive her pension until she was nearly 66.

If you would like to ask Jane about any aspect of WASPI's work, aims and/or anything else to do with pension inequality, simply add your question to this thread before Monday, 25 September.

GranJan60 Mon 11-Sep-17 15:30:11

Very confused since Carolyn Harris's latest efforts to help. Is this now just for women born 1953 or earlier? I am 63 and redundant 3 years ago. Unable to get another job though qualified, I got only 6m JSA and am now reliant on my husband's pension. NO income of my own for another 2.5 years, after 45 years of work. Disgusting to be abandoned by Government to life with no independence or self respect.

Ilovecheese Mon 11-Sep-17 15:40:06

Are WASPI also highlighting the fact that the number of qualifying years has also increased from 30 to 35. So that while we thought we had enough years to get the full pension if we had 30 years, we then found out we had to pay extra?

ninathenana Mon 11-Sep-17 16:10:47

GranJan I'm in the same position, I was born '54. Stopped work at 58 for various reasons. I don't get anything as I don't want to be looking for work.

paddyann Mon 11-Sep-17 16:47:15

I'd like to say that if it hadn't ben highlighted by Mhairi Black of the SNP and she KEPT it in the media there would probably be no WASPI group .Mhairi has fought for us 1950's women tirelessly and I for one would like to see her get the credit she's due

Hm999 Mon 11-Sep-17 19:50:57

This Twitter picture neatly shows the way women have been treated with contempt

Hm999 Mon 11-Sep-17 19:53:13

Through Twitter, Mhairi Black's contribution has been given much credit. Many other MPs and public figures have also been very supportive.

gillybob Mon 11-Sep-17 19:54:12

I'm 55, not in the best of health and feel like I will be working until I drop dead. The goal posts are forever moving. My husband is 10 years older than me and we hoped he could work until 70 and we could retire together when I was 60. Sadly no longer to be with my projected retirement age now set st 67.5. It's not fair .

grannyactivist Mon 11-Sep-17 20:06:04

I will finally receive my pension from 6th November, but not the full pension as I too got caught out by the qualifying years being increased from 30 to 35 - as I'm no longer working I didn't have the wherewithal to make up the shortfall in contributions. The cartoon above shows just how iniquitous the revised system is.

GrannyAnnie54 Mon 11-Sep-17 20:50:45

The Waspi website has letter templates to challenge the DWP, regarding the lack of information when the SPA was hiked up. I've sent four letters now and my case is being reviewed by and Independent Case Examiner.

grabba Mon 11-Sep-17 21:08:24

What has happened to the legal case?

Grannybeth Tue 12-Sep-17 07:18:20

Is Labour supporting all 50's women. Dawn Butler said in an article on 11th September

"Labour during the General Election called for pension credits to be extended to women affected to help end the plight of the tens of thousands of women abandoned to live in poverty by the Tory Government’s changes to their state pension age"

Read more at: inews.co.uk/opinion/dawn-butler-pledge-waspi-women/

Maggiemaybe Tue 12-Sep-17 08:44:32

I have heard the wonderful Mhairi Black speak at both national WASPI demos and each time she described how she took up the cause after meeting the WASPI member who came to see her at her first surgery. WASPI was founded before Mhairi was elected and I'm sure she'd be the last person to want to take credit away from the founders.

Maggiemaybe Tue 12-Sep-17 08:54:54

And you're right, Hm999, many supporters from all parties have worked tirelessly behind the scenes. I'm sure I heard that the All Party Parliamentary Group supporting WASPI is the largest ever assembled, and still growing. Your graphic clearly highlights the unfairness of the situation - for someone to get their pension nearly three and a half years later than a friend born in the same year is clearly unjustifiable.

susie22 Tue 12-Sep-17 11:30:00

YES what has happened to the legal case nobody answers that question when it is asked.

jeapurs54 Tue 12-Sep-17 11:50:21

I am in the same position I was born in 54 and worked from age 16, I now feel that we are working longer and the youngsters are staying on at college till 18 then on to Uni in some cases until 23/25. I had done 10 years work and paid into the system but cannot get any help and unfortunately unemployed at present and due to age feel that I cannot get a job in office admin/reception work as they want younger people that are quicker at learning new things and my looks are not like a 25 year old. Feeling ready to retire and enjoy life while I still have energy, looking at my husband and how he is deteriorating rapidly through diabetes and other health problems is also wearing me down.

Primrose65 Tue 12-Sep-17 12:17:46

susie22 So far, for the legal case, all I can find is that the law firm engaged, Bindmans, sent a letter of complaint to the Damien Green in March this year. There are updates on the crowdfunding page.
www.crowdjustice.com/case/waspi/
The latest statement seems to focus on maladministration.

NannyJan53 Wed 13-Sep-17 08:15:48

I was born Sept 1953. I found out around 2010 that my SP date would be March 2017! That is bad enough. Then 2011 this was increased to March 2018, with no notification , and only 6 years to go ! shock

I am now about to send my 4th letter from the templates on the WASPI website. This is to the ICE (Independant Case Examiner).

I know a lady whose birthdate was only 3 months before mine, yet she received her SP November 2016, 16 months before I do! We need to keep the pressure on!

GracesGranMK2 Wed 13-Sep-17 08:26:27

I am one of the lucky ones who was born before the WASPI dates but I would like to support the campaign. Is there a legal challenge being made and if so is there anywhere I can contribute?

susie22 Wed 13-Sep-17 09:17:07

NANNYJAN don't know how your lady received her pension in nov 2016 as I was born july 1953 and I have just rec'd my sp on 6th july 2017

NannyJan53 Wed 13-Sep-17 10:10:33

susie22 this is what she told me. However, you are getting your SP 8 months before I do, despite being only 2 months older!

This inequality in the rise and the fact most of the 50's ladies were not informed in plenty of time is the campaign WASPI is fighting for.

Maggiemaybe Wed 13-Sep-17 10:24:30

I've just checked on the Gov.UK site, susie22, and November 2016 is correct for a woman born in early June 1953. For someone born in mid July 1953 it was indeed 6 July 2017, so eight months later. angry

The graph Hm999 posted above shows the dates for some of the women born in your year.

Dignity56 Wed 13-Sep-17 11:56:26

So many 1950s women have researched the background of the baffling timetable and found statements by Ministers and advisory boards. Waspi Board members don't seem to use this information. Why not pass it along to coordinators and Bindmans ?

Christine5 Wed 13-Sep-17 13:37:02

I'm a 1955 birth. Not only will I now not get my pension until I'm 66, I've just found out that, when I do, it won't be the full pension. Why? Because my employer opted out - I have no recollection of having been notified of this. Who was my employer? - The Government!! So, despite having 40 full qualifying years, I won't get what I thought I would get. Maybe I should have been more on the case but I was bringing up three children single handed and working full time - so not a lot of spare energy for checking such things.

Tizliz Wed 13-Sep-17 14:27:26

I can't get my head round this. My birthdate is Sept 1953 and I get my pension next month - just started the claim for it.

maryeliza54 Wed 13-Sep-17 15:18:33

Christine where you contributing to an occupational pension?

Grannybeth Wed 13-Sep-17 15:21:20

I agree Dignity56. I hear the argument of "I've worked and paid NI for 40 years" or " I'm looking after grandchildren/parents" which isn't the point, many mean will be shouting "so have I!". The emphasis should be on the totally ludicrous timetable and the lack of notification. I say this as a staunch and active WASPI campaigner

rosemary55 Wed 13-Sep-17 19:27:54

petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200088 Everybody needs to sign this, a new petition

Kateykrunch Wed 13-Sep-17 22:58:27

Thanks for link to the petition, I've just signed it and so has hubby.

Chewbacca Wed 13-Sep-17 23:19:38

I've signed the petition. I was born March 1954 and have had my state retirement age put back to 66.5 years. Had I known, when I was 58, that I wouldn't be receiving my pension for another 8.5 years, I would have been able to set up a private pension which may not have yielded much when I retire, but it would have been more than I have now. As it is, my retirement age has been put back every 18 months or 2 years, leaving me with no way of forward planning. I feel well and truly crapped on.

Chewbacca Wed 13-Sep-17 23:20:35

Sorry, that should have said I'll get my pension when I'm 65.5, not 66.5.

Maggiemaybe Wed 13-Sep-17 23:43:03

Phew, thank goodness for that, Chewbacca. I thought for a moment that I'd missed another announcement!

Chewbacca Wed 13-Sep-17 23:52:38

That's the problem isn't it Maggie? They don't make any announcements do they? I only learnt that my retirement age had been put back again when a colleague mentioned that she'd checked on the government website and had seen that hers had been delayed. So I checked mine. angry

Elainefriend Thu 14-Sep-17 13:31:23

I finally received my state pension in June this year at age 64, having waited firstly an extra 3 years, then another 11 months for my state pension, July 1953 being my birthdate. Like others are saying a friend, born January 1953, seven months older than me, received her pension 20 months before me. It's been a torturous wait as I cut short my career 8 years ago to care for my sick daughter and was therefore unable to make arrangements to top-up my pension. I wholeheartedly support the Waspi campaign and have signed the petition.

mrsmopp Thu 14-Sep-17 18:44:22

I was born in the 1940s, so my pension was payable from age 60. However we needed 40 years contributions for a full pension and not many of us qualified for that due to gaps in working years because of childcare. There was little provision for childcare in the 60s, so most of us had a career break, causing a shortfall in number of qualifying years. I understand now that a NI record can be credited for those years so we have also missed out.
If a wife cannot claim a pension now till age 67, can her husband claim for her on his contributions, or has that been taken away also? Why aren't women MPs making more noise about this?

mymadeupname Fri 15-Sep-17 11:24:31

Just bumping this thread to highlight the new petition:
petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200088

Breda Fri 15-Sep-17 22:08:14

I have tried to use the government website to get them to update my records as I discovered that my NI records are incorrect but have failed miserably to manage to do so. Has anyone else had the same issue in sorting this issue out? I'm a '53 birth and have been told that my state pension is due to commence in July 2018, so I'm anxious to get the mistake rectified before then.

Kateykrunch Sun 17-Sep-17 13:58:49

Breda - When I reviewed mine, I was concerned that, although my first job started at age 15, they dont even count work done as a 15, 16 or 17 year old! They also had me missing some years when I was a stay home Mum with baby, but apparently the 'Home Responsibilities Credits' didn't come in until after 1976. I just wonder if some of your discrepancies are due to the same. I do have the required number of years to obtain the full pension when I am 66 though.

mrsmopp Sun 17-Sep-17 14:43:48

I missed out on Home responsibilities credits as I had gone back to work in 1976 as youngest child started school. Changes like this are never retrospective, worse luck ☹️

GracesGranMK2 Sun 17-Sep-17 14:45:19

Mrsmopp the new pensions are paid to the individual so it makes no difference - for that - if you are married of not. There is no married man's pension.

One think that those getting the new pension should remember (not sure it will make you feel better) is that your basic state pension is £159.55 but the old basic state pension is £122.30.

Breda Sun 17-Sep-17 16:16:52

Thanks Kateykrunch. I am going to check it again and try to sort out what's happened. I was at school until 18 and so wouldn't have had credits then. However, my concern is that the years I was at home with the two younger children both born after 1978 don't appear to have been recognised. I don't understand why they can't simply use the information that they must have on their records. I've either been at home with caring responsibilities or at work paying N.I at a qualifying rate. At the moment it looks as if when I'm eligible to claim my pension it will be about £20 per week lower than the standard rate.

Maggiemaybe Sun 17-Sep-17 18:20:56

No one who ever opted out will get the higher basic pension, as opted out years no longer count towards it. Anyone nearing retirement should apply for a pension statement and some will, I'm afraid, be in for a nasty shock.

Maggiemaybe Sun 17-Sep-17 18:29:21

Sorry, I should of course have said that most people who ever opted out will not get the full higher pension, as it's dependent on how many non opted-out years they paid in.

GracesGranMK2 Sun 17-Sep-17 19:29:07

Opting out it has always effected your state pension calculation Maggiemaybe. You are right that everyone should apply for a pension statement. It has always been the case that there were shocks to be had if you didn't.

Maggiemaybe Sun 17-Sep-17 21:40:40

Opting out used to affect the SERPS/S2P element of the state pension, not the base rate.

GracesGranMK2 Sun 17-Sep-17 22:08:30

Ah - true Maggiemaybe. Surely it isn't effecting both now?

Maggiemaybe Sun 17-Sep-17 23:37:13

It's complicated. As I understand it, the S2P element is now incorporated into what people see as the new universal pension, the £159, so that amount can be cut drastically if the claimant has been contracted out. Transitional arrangements are in place, so for the next few years new claimants will get what they were entitled to under the old or the new system, whichever is the higher. In my case, being contracted out for several years takes my "new system" entitlement down to £100, despite a 41 year NI record. I would have been due slightly more than the basic £122 under the previous system, so that's what I'll get when I'm 66.

GracesGranMK2 Mon 18-Sep-17 08:26:54

Mmm. I shall have to put some little grey cells to work on that (and there aren't so many these dayssmile)

Can I use some of yours? The base level for the new pension is £159.55 and they are calculating that in some cases includes S2P and in some cases doesn't? In either case you start with the £159.55 figure and work from there. They then reduce this amount if you have contracted out. I am not sure but that feels like a double whammy - or is it? And is it fair to those on a small but just over the Pension Credit level income on the old scheme?

I like the idea of a Basic Income! Everyone gets the same basic and it's enough to take you past of all income-related benefits except housing (because housing is impossible to solve without houses) and is taxed off those on the highest incomes. ... and I would bet it would be cheaper in the long run!

GracesGranMK2 Mon 18-Sep-17 08:28:57

That's what you would have got at 60 though. The argument was that over a lifetime you will get a higher level so you gave up (!) some early years to pay for that - but you won't!

What a mess.

WaspiKate Mon 25-Sep-17 11:32:40

I am a member of WASPI Ltd and have paid money into the crowd funder for legal action to be taken against the government. I have written all the letters proscribed by Bindmans and Waspi and await the outcome BUT this is not legal action against the government, it is a complaint about maladministration of a government department. What is happening about the promised legal action and why are we not being kept informed?

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 26-Sep-17 14:35:41

Questions being sent over shortly - answers coming up as soon as we have them

Maggiemaybe Wed 27-Sep-17 08:38:24

I have a quick question if it's not too late. Even though I'm a member, I'd like to know why WASPI is so against the "cost neutral" option that occasionally crops up, whereby both women and men could opt to take a reduced pension from an earlier age. It's not compensation (presumably the fight for this would go on), and in a purely financial sense there would be losers (who lived to a ripe old age on that smaller pension) and winners (who died sooner, but at least had their pension for a couple of extra years). It's a system that's already offered in other countries, notably Germany. I feel that for some women, particularly those with health issues that give them a shorter life expectancy, this might be a choice they'd like to have.

Primrose65 Thu 28-Sep-17 20:17:00

A question for GN - any idea when the answers are going to be provided?

glassortwo Thu 28-Sep-17 23:06:34

I am 1956 woman so have to wait until 2022 for my pension, but I feel the Waspi ask is not realistic and TM an the government wont even look at it.
We need to join forces as we are stronger in number and remember that we paid in our contributions and employers have paid in to the fund. Its is our money and the government have stolen what is ours!
Look on Facebook for the many groups that are fighting this pension injustice.

Chewbacca Thu 28-Sep-17 23:25:13

I received a response to the petition that I signed a few weeks ago. This is part of the response that I received today. Broadly, it says that the government have no intention of making any allowances at all.

^ Failing to act in light of compelling demographic evidence would have been irresponsible and would have placed an unfair fiscal burden on the working population.^

The Government has done a huge amount to improve pensions for all, particularly women. Future women pensioners stand to benefit on average from a higher new State Pension payment, from the expansion of Automatic Enrolment, and our Fuller Working Lives strategy. And a woman retiring today can still expect to receive the State Pension for over 24.5 years on average – three years longer than men. If State Pension ages had not been equalised, women would be expected to spend over 40% of their adult life in retirement.

durhamjen Thu 28-Sep-17 23:43:55

"Since 1995 the Government has gone to significant lengths to communicate SPa changes. There will be no further concessions on this issue to avoid placing an unfair burden on working age people. "

Still only 61,000+ signatures, so get others to sign up if you want it debated properly.

WASPI Wed 18-Oct-17 12:45:11

GranJan60

Very confused since Carolyn Harris's latest efforts to help. Is this now just for women born 1953 or earlier? I am 63 and redundant 3 years ago. Unable to get another job though qualified, I got only 6m JSA and am now reliant on my husband's pension. NO income of my own for another 2.5 years, after 45 years of work. Disgusting to be abandoned by Government to life with no independence or self respect.

WASPI campaigns for all 1950s born women affected by the mismanagement of State Pension Age rises. There have been some reports in the media of a solution proposed by the Labour Party that may not encompass the whole group of 1950s women. WASPI has been clear that it will not accept this. We are working closely with Labour leadership to get a solution that works for everyone.

WASPI Wed 18-Oct-17 12:49:00

Ilovecheese

Are WASPI also highlighting the fact that the number of qualifying years has also increased from 30 to 35. So that while we thought we had enough years to get the full pension if we had 30 years, we then found out we had to pay extra?

The WASPI Campaign has launched a mass action complaint against the Department for Work and Pensions on the basis that 1950s women were not given adequate notice about changes to their State Pension Age. As you correctly mention, there are other changes that were potentially unfair for some women during this period, including the rules surrounding National Insurance contributions; Pension Credit; and contracting out.

We have been encouraging women affected by these changes to include them in their complaint to the Department for Work and Pensions. We also continue to raise this issue in our discussions with Parliamentarians, and our on-going media work.

WASPI Wed 18-Oct-17 12:52:17

gillybob

I'm 55, not in the best of health and feel like I will be working until I drop dead. The goal posts are forever moving. My husband is 10 years older than me and we hoped he could work until 70 and we could retire together when I was 60. Sadly no longer to be with my projected retirement age now set st 67.5. It's not fair .

WASPI agrees that the State Pension Age for women should be brought in line with that of men. However, millions of women born in the 1950s were not given adequate warning of increases to their State Pension Age. This left some women with less than a year to prepare for a six-year change.

This poor communication has meant that many 1950s women are suffering huge financial difficulties because of the changes implemented in the 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts. Some will lose up to £45,000, with no time to put in place alternative financial arrangements to see them through to the new state retirement age.

The lack of notice has also meant that instances in like yours, couples did not have sufficient time to make arrangements to change their work patterns so that they could enjoy retirement together.

WASPI Wed 18-Oct-17 12:55:14

grabba

What has happened to the legal case?

Our lawyers, Bindmans have advised that a mass action complaint against the Department for Work and Pensions is currently the most effective legal avenue to pursue, both in terms of cost and time. This has now been going on for some months, with over 4000 letters sent by WASPI women to the DWP that have got through to the final stage of the complaints process. WASPI is continuing to encourage its members to write to the DWP, with hundreds more letters being sent every week.

WASPI Wed 18-Oct-17 13:04:45

Grannybeth

Is Labour supporting all 50's women. Dawn Butler said in an article on 11th September

"Labour during the General Election called for pension credits to be extended to women affected to help end the plight of the tens of thousands of women abandoned to live in poverty by the Tory Government’s changes to their state pension age"

Read more at: inews.co.uk/opinion/dawn-butler-pledge-waspi-women/

WASPI is campaigning for all 1950s born women affected by the State Pension Age rise mismanagement. As we've previously mentioned, there have been some reports in the media of the Labour Party proposing a solution that may not encompass the whole group of 1950s women. WASPI's been clear that it will not accept this and we're working closely with Labour leadership to reach a solution that works for all.

WASPI Wed 18-Oct-17 13:09:49

GracesGranMK2

I am one of the lucky ones who was born before the WASPI dates but I would like to support the campaign. Is there a legal challenge being made and if so is there anywhere I can contribute?

The WASPI Campaign has launched a mass action complaint against the Department for Work and Pensions on the basis that 1950s women were not given adequate notice about changes to their State Pension Age. As part of this, we are encouraging WASPI women to make a formal complaint to the Department for Work and Pensions on the basis of maladministration.

Although the legal complaint can only be made by women affected, we would ask you to support the campaign by alternative means. You can engage with us on social media, and help us spread the WASPI message, or you could write to your local MP and ask them to support WASPI women in your constituency. You can also donate to our campaign online here:

www.waspi.co.uk/membership

WASPI Wed 18-Oct-17 13:11:50

Dignity56

So many 1950s women have researched the background of the baffling timetable and found statements by Ministers and advisory boards. Waspi Board members don't seem to use this information. Why not pass it along to coordinators and Bindmans ?

WASPI directors are acutely aware of the inadequacies of the timetable of the new State Pension Ages and do bring this information to bear in discussions with MPs. However, the main thrust of our campaign is not to look back at how badly things were done, but to look forward to how we can put things right for WASPI women.

WASPI Wed 18-Oct-17 13:16:56

mrsmopp

I was born in the 1940s, so my pension was payable from age 60. However we needed 40 years contributions for a full pension and not many of us qualified for that due to gaps in working years because of childcare. There was little provision for childcare in the 60s, so most of us had a career break, causing a shortfall in number of qualifying years. I understand now that a NI record can be credited for those years so we have also missed out.

If a wife cannot claim a pension now till age 67, can her husband claim for her on his contributions, or has that been taken away also? Why aren't women MPs making more noise about this?

WASPI are acutely aware of this problem. However, the main drive of our campaign isn't to focus on previous poor performances, but to look forward to how we can amend things for WASPI women.

WASPI Wed 18-Oct-17 13:21:34

WaspiKate

I am a member of WASPI Ltd and have paid money into the crowd funder for legal action to be taken against the government. I have written all the letters proscribed by Bindmans and Waspi and await the outcome BUT this is not legal action against the government, it is a complaint about maladministration of a government department. What is happening about the promised legal action and why are we not being kept informed?

The WASPI campaign raised £100,000 through CrowdJustice to fund an initial legal campaign. We were blown away by the number of WASPI women like yourself willing to reach into their own pockets to fund our activities, showing just how important the campaign is.

The Crowdjustice appeal clearly stated:

“Our initial target will allow us to take advice on judicial review in parallel with preparing materials to assist with maladministration complaints. Our stretch target will provide the start of funding for us to engage in legal correspondence with the DWP and pursue the legal challenges identified through the legal advice we intend to obtain.”

This is how the funds are still being used.

Our lawyers, Bindmans have advised that a mass action complaint against the Department for Work and Pensions is currently the most effective legal avenue to pursue, both in terms of time and cost. Acting under the advice of Bindmans, we are therefore pursuing the maladministration case in the first instance. We are confident that this will give us the best chance of success, and ensure that women affected by State Pension age rises are fully compensated for their loss.

The DWP mass action complaint has now been going on for some months, with over 4000 letters sent by Waspi women to the DWP that have got through to the final stage of the complaints process. WASPI is continuing to encourage its members to write to the DWP, with hundreds more letters being sent every week.

Everyone who has contributed to the Crowdjustice campaign and/or has become a member receives emails keeping them up to date with the legal campaign whenever there is something new to report.

Grannybeth Fri 20-Oct-17 09:55:24

That's not strictly correct. I will receive exactly the same pension at 66 as I would have at 60. All to do with COPE and not losing out

RetiredRGN Mon 23-Oct-17 10:54:12

Chewbacca Im June 1954 and will get mine March 2020 so your 66.5 years is wrong? recheck

Chewbacca Mon 23-Oct-17 21:43:31

I did check it RetiredRGN and you're right, it is 65.5, not 66.5. I corrected it further up thread. I'm still miffed about it though. angry

Day6 Wed 25-Oct-17 11:08:20

Tizliz, the whole thing is extremely confusing and unfair.

You are getting your pension now (October). I am a 54 baby, six months younger than you yet I have to ait until I am 66 before I get mine.

It is so unfair. I have ill health and no disposable income. I am entitled to no benefits to bridge the gap because I have an occupational pension, earned over 30+ years. I too was a single parent bringing up children alone, claiming no benefits and too bogged down in everything to worry about life after work.

I feel so cheated. I didn't want to be a burden on the state. But now in poor health and older I NEED my state pension in order to aid the quality of life. I have been without this pension for three years and have another three years to wait...I am being denied £40,000 and travel concessions which would change my life enormously.

It's not a benefit, it is a pension, a contract we signed when we entered into work, entitling us to a pension at the age of 60. That is what we all paid into and worked towards and we have been robbed.

maryeliza54 Wed 25-Oct-17 14:56:43

Day I don’t quite understand - For Tiziz to get her pension next month ((Nov 17) her birthday must be before 5 September 1953. If you are 6 months younger that puts your birthdate approx March 1954. I thought that if you were born in March 1954 (from 6 onwards) you would get your pension in September 2019 so another 2 not 3 years to wait. I’m not trying to minimise this but won’t it be a little bit sooner than you think or have I misunderstood.

GrandmaMoira Wed 25-Oct-17 15:36:01

The other unfair issue with pensions is not being mentioned much. There is a new higher rate pension being paid to those who retired since last year. All those of us who retired before will continue to receive a lower amount so we have a two tier income level for pensioners.
One other thing for WASPI women, is that most of us started work at 15, so a working life of over 50 years for some mid 50s born women. I think setting a maximum of 50 years would help.

Day6 Thu 26-Oct-17 11:14:51

'I’m not trying to minimise this but won’t it be a little bit sooner than you think or have I misunderstood.'

I shall go and have a look maryeliza. Thank you. I have stuffed all the pension stuff in a drawer in fit of pique. They moved the goal posts twice, didn't they? I remember thinking I will be just a couple of months off 66 before I get anything.

It's still a lot of years to be without the pension I thought I would get three years ago. I don't go to the hairdressers, dentist or optician. I cannot afford to. My children paid for new specs for me for Christmas last year. I found having to ask quite humiliating.

Maggiemaybe Fri 27-Oct-17 00:27:13

GrandmaMoira, the higher rate pension was discussed earlier in this thread. Many of us will not get it, as years in which we were opted out do not count towards it.

It’s very frustrating for WASPI women to be told that well, they may have no state pension or bus pass till they’re 66, but at least they’ll get a higher pension then. Not true for many of us. I will be getting my pension on my 66th birthday in 3 years time, and it will be at the old rate, as this is significantly more than I would get under the new system, with a 41 year NI record.

Harris27 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:42:13

I'm really concerned I'm nearly 58 working in poor paid childcare and have arthritis/ asthma and struggle daily with this, However I've decided to bite the bullet taking painkillers and drugs to combat pain and keep going no choice 66 befire I retire x

Day6 Sun 29-Oct-17 11:31:21

but I feel the Waspi ask is not realistic

I do.
We have paid into our state pension all our working lives.

It is NOT a benefit.
The government has STOLEN from us imo. If any other pension fund provider had done this - moved the goalposts and withheld money that is rightly ours there would be law suits galore.

I agree that we need age equality regarding pensions but the governments argument about how much time women would be on a pension does not hold water for women born in the 1950s who have been cheated out of their entitlement at very short notice and who are now suffering financial distress because they'd factored in state pension when theyd reached the end of their working lives.

I certainly did. I am entitled to no benefit top ups because I have an occupational pension which is 'enough for one person to live on' according to the DSS.

The cost of living has risen and my pension is a tiny, tiny fraction of the salary I earned and used to manage on. I struggle to manage my finances now, and this is not how I envisioned life in my 60s.

I feel very angry about it. Women in their 40s now have plenty of time to adjust. Women in their 60s have been left high and dry by state robbery.

Maggiemaybe Sun 29-Oct-17 12:35:19

Agreed, Day6. As another of the worst affected, losing 6 years of SPA, I fully appreciate that the state pension age has to be equalised for men and women. I would accept a loss of 6 to 12 months pension as part of a fair and gradual move towards equalisation. This is how it has worked in other countries, but unfortunately successive UK governments have ignored the issue for years then rushed it through by throwing us under the bus. Like you, I have a small occupational pension that I paid for over many years, so cannot claim any benefits. I was made redundant just before my 60th birthday and decided to help my DC with childcare as I always promised I’d do when I retired. They needed me then, not 6 years down the line. I know I am luckier than many, but we are eating into the savings we thought would be our cushion in later years. Many women are in desperate straits. At the WASPI demos, I have spoken with some of them, including two who have had to sell their homes, and one with a terminal illness who knew she would not live to get hers but was still fighting.

maryeliza54 Sun 29-Oct-17 12:42:36

To be fair, my understanding is that just about all occupational pension schemes have changed enormously over the last years - later retirement ages, huge increase in employee contributions and for many loss of a defined benefits scheme in favour of money purchase and all this without employee approval. As an unaffected person re the state pension, however, whilst I accept there had to be equalisation upwards to 65, the great injustices are not having a fool proof system of notifying every woman when the charge in legislation actually happened and secondly not just doing it incrementally a month at a time as I believ3 it first started to happen. As for the level of the SP, I believe we have one of the lowest amongst the major Eiropean countries. Labour tried to improve this way back with SERPS but that has now gone. A real turning point was when MT broke the link between pensions and earnings

Maggiemaybe Sun 29-Oct-17 20:06:44

True, maryeliza54, many occupational pension schemes have changed a lot recently as well, and not usually for the better, unfortunately. But in the case of mine at least, the conditions stayed the same for any member up to ten years away from their retirement date, and we all received letters telling us about the changes and how they would affect us. There was a consultation period as well, when we were invited to comment, not that the more cynical amongst us thought it would make a blind bit of difference....

maryeliza54 Sun 29-Oct-17 22:15:51

On the other hand there were the occupational pension schemes like Maxwells.......and BHS. I really am not saying that what’s happened with the state pension is OK because bad things happen with other pensions. I suppose what the whole sorry mess tells us is that we ( collectively) have not taken pension provision seriously enough in this country for a long time and have been willing to put up with politicians who didn’t want to have well funded pensions ( for the hoi polloi because it would have meant higher taxes- or less generous tax allowances for those in receipt of high salaries and excellent pension schemes.

Maggiemaybe Sun 29-Oct-17 22:51:27

Yep, I’ve got (or rather haven’t got) one of those pensions as well, maryeliza. grin I could be a poster girl for pension schemes good, bad and disappeared. Three years (fortunately, just three years) paying into a scheme in the 70s that was embezzled by its trustees. They went to jail, but that was no comfort to the people who lost out. And then we WASPIs are told by our critics that we should have made better provision for our old age. Easier said than done, especially when so many of us had periods of working part-time in an era when it was okay to deny part-timers membership of a pension scheme.

I’d like to think things could be better for our children, but I’m afraid they’re on track to be much, much worse.

maryeliza54 Sun 29-Oct-17 23:06:47

It’s all a mess isn’t it - no wonder those that could invested in buy to let as a pension pot and look where that’s got us.

Harris27 Sat 07-Apr-18 22:19:08

I'm 58 married in poor health and will have to work till 66 . Working in childcare for a pittance.just want yo have some options before I retire. If id known sooner I would of tried harder to get out off my otrsdnt job.

Harris27 Sat 07-Apr-18 22:19:47

Sorry present job.

gillybob Sun 08-Apr-18 08:51:08

I’m in a similar situation to you Harris27 I’m 56 and my pension forecast shows that I will be 68+ before I can retire. My DH and I have a just over 10 yea age gap and we had planned to retire together when he was 70 and I was 60. Out of the window now. Can he work until 78? I very much doubt it.

Harris27 Tue 10-Apr-18 21:36:16

Hi gillybob that's so unfair I feel for you.my husband is only 3 years older than me and in much better health thank goodness . However what about the fact that the goal posts are moving rapidly we might not reach retirement, worrying thought.

paddyann Tue 10-Apr-18 22:21:46

Harris27 I believe thats the plan ,we'll all die before we can claim a pension...

MissAdventure Tue 10-Apr-18 22:44:05

68+ for me, at the moment.
Who knows, it may go up again? sad

Chewbacca Tue 10-Apr-18 22:47:12

Tend to agree with you paddyann. The WASPI movement seems to have ground to a halt; its been months since I saw anything in the news about anything new being discussed. I have a feeling that we've been kicked into the long grass.

gillybob Wed 11-Apr-18 07:28:24

I’m the same as you MissA (68+) and fear that with ever moving goalposts and all the extra stresses and strains thrown at us we may never reach that golden age of retirement . As Harris and Paddyann have said that is probably the general idea . sad

Grannybeth Wed 11-Apr-18 22:51:26

There's a meeting between the APPG and representatives from the various campaign groups on April 25th. The purpose is to discuss the findings of a survey the APPG did last year and to put in into Carolyn Harris' Private Memebers Bill which we hope will be heard after the summer recess. There's more cross party support for us 50's women so you never know......