Report published

DWP told to compensate women over pension change

Waspi in Linlithgow
Women claimed they were not informed of changes to the state pension age (pic: Terry Murden)

An investigation into changes to the women’s state pension age has concluded that the government should “do the right thing”, apologise, and pay compensation to those affected.

However, there was disappointment that the long-awaited reoport from the parliamentary and health service ombudsman suggests payouts of as little as £1,000, which represents just over a month’s pension.

The report says he Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) failed to adequately inform thousands of womenborn in the 1950s  that the state pension age had been postponed from 60 to 66.

“The DWP has not acknowledged its failings nor put things right for those women affected”, says today’s report.

The ombudsman chief executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath said: “Complainants should not have to wait and see whether DWP will take action to rectify its failings.

“Given the significant concerns we have that it will fail to act on our findings and given the need to make things right for the affected women as soon as possible, we have proactively asked Parliament to intervene and hold the department to account.

“Complainants should not have to wait and see whether DWP will take action to rectify its failings. Given the significant concerns we have that it will fail to act on our findings and given the need to make things right for the affected women as soon as possible, we have proactively asked Parliament to intervene and hold the department to account.

“Parliament now needs to act swiftly, and make sure a compensation scheme is established. We think this will provide women with the quickest route to remedy.”

Angela Madden, chairwoman of the campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi), said: “They seem to have got some of it right. I’m appalled the Department of Work and Pensions just don’t accept they have done something wrong. It’s disrespectful to all the women.

“I’m pleased Parliament are being given a chance to discuss this properly.”

The ombudsman spent five years investigating claims that the women suffered financially and that the government failed to properly inform them.

In 2021, the ombudsman published the first stage of its report, which criticised the government for being too slow to inform women how they would be affected. Today’s report is the second and third parts of the investigation.

The ombudsman is not able to recommend the government reimburses women for the full amount of pension they did not receive. However, it can recommend that at least some of those impacted receive payments of £10,000 or more.

Compensation could potentially run into billions, though individuals fear that any payout will fall well short of the sums lost.

Changes to the state pension age have been introduced through a number of legislative measures beginning in 1995. The process was accelerated in 2011 in a bid to reduce the cost of the state pension to the taxpayer.

The new higher retirement age for women was brought forward to 2018 and was raised again to 66 for both men and women in 2020. It is set to rise again to 67 for men and women between 2026 and 2028.

Waspi said some women born in the 1950s who were not aware of the changes struggled to find work due to their age. Thousands have died while waiting for a verdict.



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