We won’t budge on state pen­sion de­lay, says min­is­ter

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - YOUR MONEY -

‘Fear­less’ cam­paign­ers have had their hopes of re­dress dashed, says Richard Dyson

Of all the chal­lenges faced by the new min­is­ter for pen­sions, an army of sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand an­gry mid­dle-aged women is per­haps the most for­mi­da­ble. In an in­ter­view with The Daily Tele­graph, Richard Har­ring­ton said he had spent much of the sum­mer hol­i­day swot­ting up on Bri­tain’s hugely com­plex pen­sion sys­tem. He was ap­pointed just be­fore the re­cess, and the time off was “very use­ful”, he said.

Some of his read­ing time was de­voted to the dif­fi­cul­ties faced by an in­creas­ingly vo­cif­er­ous and or­gan­ised group: Women Against State Pen­sion In­equal­ity – the “Waspis”.

These are women born on or af­ter April 6 1951, who, thanks to suc­ces­sive changes to the age at which the state pen­sion is payable, have to wait for up to six years longer for their pen­sions than they had ex­pected (see box).

Their main griev­ance is that they weren’t given suf­fi­cient warn­ing of the change – if they had any at all.

Now, as Mr Har­ring­ton set­tles into his new of­fice, the Waspis are ramp­ing up their cam­paign, with large num­bers of women born in the Fifties still dis­cov­er­ing they will have to wait longer than they ex­pected for their money.

Claim­ing the sup­port of more than 120 MPs across the party spec­trum, the Waspis’ cam­paign­ing has so far trig­gered four par­lia­men­tary de­bates on their sit­u­a­tion. More than 190,000 peo­ple have signed the Waspi pe­ti­tion. MPs – sup­port­ive or not – var­i­ously de­scribe the cam­paign­ers as “for­mi­da­ble”, “fear­less” and “ter­ri­fy­ing”.

What they are de­mand­ing is a “bridg­ing pen­sion” that would fill the gap be­tween their an­tic­i­pated pen­sion age of 60 and the later date at which

A pro­tester with a Waspi plac­ard at a Jeremy Cor­byn rally dur­ing the Labour Party lead­er­ship cam­paign ear­lier this month

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.