Women fighting '˜unjust' state pension age changes

A group has been set up to tackle '˜unjust' women's state pension age changes which meant some women were given little to no notice they would not retire at 60.

The Hastings and Rother WASPI group SUS-160818-090443001
The Hastings and Rother WASPI group SUS-160818-090443001

Hastings and Rother Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) will be lobbying the government to amend the changes which has left many women unable to retire until they are 66.

Penny Saxby helped found the group after joining a national rally at Westminster and discovering there was not a local branch.

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“We went to the Houses of Parliament to lobby the MPs and in going there I realised there wasn’t a local group,” she said.

“It was quite inspiring as there was around 2,500 women there, but they were mainly from up north with people from Birmingham and Liverpool, plus me and my friend from Hastings.”

The 2011 Pension Act increased the state pension age of women who were born on or after April 6, 1951, to 66, the same as men.

The national WASPI campaign agrees with equalisation, but does not agree with the ‘unfair’ way the changes were implemented as it argues women were given little to no personal notice, it was introduced faster than promised and women had no time to make alternative plans.

Ms Saxby described the changes as ‘absolutely horrendous’ and believes they need to be amended to give those affected enough time to plan.

“There are a lot of women who are in poverty because they have lost their jobs and are unlikely to get another job, but they can’t get their state pension,” she said.

“It affects thousands and thousands of women all over the country, some of whom will be in Hastings, it’s pretty heartbreaking really.”

WASPI claims the legislation is actually illegal as it says the European Union states people must be given 10 years notice for changes to their retirement age.

Ms Saxby said the government is a shambles as up until a few years ago, the Department of Work and Pensions still had that women retired at 60 on its website.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page, Hastings and Rother WASPI Group, or the WASPI website www.waspi.co.uk.

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