Christine Jardine wants your WASPI stories

We know that women born in the 1950s are facing real struggles because of a steep rise in the age at which they become entitled to their state pension. They were not properly informed of decisions taken years ago and so have not had time to prepare.

If we think that this is unfair, the most important thing that we can do is to gather evidence about the real impact of this on women’s lives.

Women are more likely to be in lower paid jobs and so will have less entitlement to occupational pensions. This means that many women will find themselves suffering poverty and hardship as they approach retirement.

One of the first things that Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West Christine Jardine did in Parliament was to join the All Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality. She is the co-sponsor of a Bill aimed at reviewing the impact on women.

She wants to find women to tell their stories about what the delay in their entitlement means to them.

I want to make sure that we have as much evidence as possible of just how much hardship has been caused by the way these changes were made.

It’s heartbreaking to hear what women who have worked all their lives and planned for their retirement have been put through simply because they weren’t warned about what was about to happen.

Some, who had expected to have retired and getting their state pension by now, had to take on extra part time jobs just to get by or to stop eating into their savings.

It’s simply unfair, and it’s up to the rest of us to make sure these women get the justice they deserve.

The women who come to me say they accept we have to make changes to retirement ages but it’s the way that it was done that they object to.

If you want to help Christine build her case, please tweet her @cajardinemp or message her Facebook page

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11 Comments

  • Bill le Breton 28th Sep '17 - 9:41am

    Please remember that a lot of the hardship is mental and not necessarily financial. For example having to delay retirment when suffering burn out after a long career of demanding emotional commitment.

  • John Barrett 28th Sep '17 - 11:41am

    Surely some transitional arrangement or payment of a reduced pension between the
    original expected retirement date and the new, much later, date would be possible.

    This is what happens in reverse when many people retire early.

    Many friends, who were teachers and who are now in their early 60s, are enjoying early retirement
    on their teachers pensions and with lump sums being made available until the state pension
    kicks in at around 66.

    If a system can be put in place for them, the WASPI women should get something similar.

    There may well be a majority in Parliament to support such a Bill.

  • Martin Land 28th Sep '17 - 4:41pm

    I’m afraid I still don’t get this one. Equality inevitably has downsides as well as upsides.
    As the retirement age approaches 70 and I’ll health prior to retirement increases a solution is needed for all those such difficulties apply to.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 28th Sep '17 - 8:35pm

    There’s a surprise. Mansplaining that it isn’t a problem. Actually, nobody is complaining about the equalisation of the pension age. It’s the fact that nobody bothered to tell these women that their retirement age was moving back 6 years. If they had known they would have been able to make provision in decent time. Many are suffering real hardship now through no fault of their own.

  • Martin Land 28th Sep '17 - 9:59pm

    Nobody told them? Or they just didn’t listen? My wife was quite aware of the change and we were living in France at the time!

  • Little Jackie Paper 28th Sep '17 - 10:02pm

    I’m slightly in two minds here. Certainly my mother was fully aware of the 1995 changes and recognised the implications. I don’t know how she found out, but to say that no one bothered to tell these women about the change is to stretch the point a long way. But the acceleration that was legislated for later (2011?) was a bit hard in the sense that it did essentially target the same people twice. That seems to me to be a stronger point. I suppose that it is inevitable that things change in employment, particularly as one gets older. Perhaps a better transitional arrangement could have been put in place because what we have is a bit DIY.

    All of this being said it is hard to overlook that it is almost certain that these women will get a retirement deal beyond the wildest dreams of those now young.

  • I am one of the first group of women to have their pensions delayed. We had plenty of notice and the change was well publicised. The second group of women, who had a double delay, did not have adequate notice – though I am less sympathetic to the argument that they should all have been written to.

    Perhaps the answer is a more relaxed attitude to ESA (or other relevant benefits) to help older people (men and women) in real financial difficulties. As a 65 year old, I do think it is unreasonably optimistic to expect the over 60s to be able keep in full-time work. There are not only aging/health problems to be contended with, but it’s difficult to get a job in many areas once you are over 50/40 (when most people’s health is good). let alone when you are over 60.

  • It was the EU, [in 1993], or more specifically the ECJ which told the UK that it must equalise state pension age between men and women.
    So in 1995, when this [EU imposed!], change took place, rather than create chaos and do it immediately, the government gave women some 15 years notice to plan for the equalisation change.
    So far so good.
    However, it was the 2011 Pensions Bill designed and implemented by George Osborne and Steve Webb, which caused the real consternation, by accelerating forward the age equalisation to age 66.
    So WASPI women can thank Osborne and Webb for the real poverty gap now pushing them to wait until (roughly!) age 66 before they get their state pension.
    That said, most of the women still affected as of today, are now in the age band 63/64 (ish!). So their wait to receive their state pension is now no more than about 20 months (ish!). And whilst a 20 month wait is still a problem if you are one of the affected women with no other source of income, we can say that by about July to November 2019, these remaining WASPI women will be fully ‘pensioned-up’, [and equalised to men], and this WASPI issue will be gone, and no more than an historical footnote by early 2020.

  • David Evershed 29th Sep '17 - 11:31am

    Didn’t the change in the age at women become entitled to the state pension get very wide coverage in the press and on TV? men for

    I certainly was aware of it as was my wife.

  • Kay Kirkham 29th Sep '17 - 3:18pm

    I am just too old to be affected by the change but had I been younger I would certainly have expected the Government to write to me about the change. I don’t communicate with my other pension provider through the pages of the press so why is it deemed adequate for the Government to do so?

  • Sheila Gee 29th Sep ’17 – 11:00am:
    It was the EU, [in 1993], or more specifically the ECJ which told the UK that it must equalise state pension age between men and women.
    Interestingly, Poland is currently moving in the opposite direction…

    ‘EU expresses worry over Poland reviving different retirement age for men and women’ [August 2017]:

    Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and President Andrzej Duda – who comes from the same political grouping – campaigned on promises to undo a 2012 reform that had been gradually raising and equalising the retirement age at 67.

    The government’s change, largely popular among Poles, will take effect from October, reintroducing a retirement age of 65 for men and 60 for women.

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