In 1995 the Conservative Government passed the Pension Act which included plans to equalise the State Pension Age for men and women. This raised the age at which women born on or after 6th April 1951 could access their pension from 60 to 65.
In 2011, the Coalition Government passed another Pension Act to accelerate the equalisation of the State Pension Age, bringing forward the final phase of the increase to between April 2016 and November 2018.
As a result, 2.6 million women, including 2,770 in Manchester Withington, were given just 5 years’ notice that their pension age was to increase, despite the Turner Report advising that at least 15 years notice should be given.
The WASPI Campaign
The WASPI campaign came about to advocate on behalf of those women. The campaigners do not disagree with the principle of pension equalisation but with the manner in which these changes have been rolled out.
These women, like us all, planned for the future. Many now face barriers to returning to employment such as poor health or caring commitments. Many of them took on caring responsibilities for grandchildren or elderly relatives, safe in the knowledge that they had secured themselves a financially stable retirement.
These women have been disproportionately and unfairly affected due purely to their date of birth. That’s why I became a founding member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the WASPI campaign which seeks to work with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to find a fair solution.
24 May 2016