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

(91 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.

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 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:

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?