Women are ‘not aware’ of changes to pension age

Members of WASPI campaign in St John's Square.  Pictured is Hilary Birchall with Grace Baron.
Members of WASPI campaign in St John's Square. Pictured is Hilary Birchall with Grace Baron.
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Campaigners took part in a national day of action in Blackpool to raise awareness at what they claim are unfair changes to women’s pensions.

Activists are angry many women are facing hardship because they did not realise they will have to wait longer to receive their state pension.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is calling for a fairer transition to the new timescale which means in future women’s pension ages will be brought in line with men.

Those born in the 1950s are particularly affected by the longer timescale.

WASPI says the government failed to give people adequate warning of the changes, meaning they did not have enough time to review their pension arrangements.

The Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre WASPI local group set up a stall in St John’s Square in Blackpool yesterday to highlight the issue.

The group’s co-ordinator Jackie Marsden said: “We have spoken to a lot of people today who did not realise their pension age was rising.

“Many of them have no access to computers and don’t go online, and so were not aware of the changes.

“We have been able to speak to them about what is happening, put them in touch with our support group and hand out leaflets.

“It is clear many women in Blackpool are still not aware of the change.

“It’s just not a fair timetable and we think it should be looked at again.”

WASPI is seeking cross-party support for its campaign.

They are not calling for the pension age to revert back to 60, but say compensation should be paid to those who say their retirement plans have been shattered.

They also say the implementation of the new pension age has been too quick and so women have not been able to make alternative financial arrangements.

The state pension age is currently 65 for men and it is gradually increasing for women from 60 to 65 – it’s 63 and nine months from April 2017, and 64 and six months by April 2018.

From 2019, the state pension age will start to increase for both men and women to reach 66 by 2020.

The Government is planning further increases, which will raise the state pension age from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

To join the local WASPI group, contact Jackie at jackiemarsden4205@gmail.com