WASPI campaigners aim to win at least £10,000 compensation for every 1950s-born woman affected by State Pension short notice changes

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Millions of women born in the Fifties could be entitled to compensation of at least £10,000 if a campaign group fronted by a Derbyshire chairwoman wins its pension fight.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is campaigning for those affected by short notice changes which raised the age that they could claim the pension.

Arouund 3.6million women have been affected by the Department of Work and Pensions’ failure to notify them promptly of the alteration which the Ombudsman labelled as maladministration in a report of December 2022.

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But his report prompted a judicial review challenge in the High Court by WASPI with the Ombudsman now conceding a ‘legally flawed” calculation about the impact of maladministration. The Ombudsman must now rewrite his report, removing the legal flaws.

WASPI campaigners Angela Madden (right) and Janet Atkinson with Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.WASPI campaigners Angela Madden (right) and Janet Atkinson with Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.
WASPI campaigners Angela Madden (right) and Janet Atkinson with Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

Angela Madden chairs the National WASPI campaign and is the North Derbyshire WASPI group co-ordinator. She said: “To account for non-financial loss, the Ombudsman can refer to axis point scale depending on the severity of injustice suffered by the complainants. The highest severity is level 6, where compensation would be at least £10,000 per victim. Material loss is described at this level as ‘Hardship, over an extended period (five years or more); significant and sustained deterioration in quality of life (e.g. unwanted pregnancy and birth); loss of a major life chance which we can say on balance of probabilities would have happened e.g. the chance to attend university, start a new life in a different country, or pursue a chosen career’.

“Many women chose to stop working and take up caring responsibilities thinking they would qualify for State Pension at 60. By the time they were informed that this had changed, perhaps one or two years before their 60th birthday, it was too late for them to do anything about it. These women have incurred material losses at the highest level.”

Angela was 55 when she gave up work to spend time with her needy mother and was expecting to draw her State Pension at 60. But the State Pension Act 1995 brought in to equalise men and women meant it was nearly 11 years before Angela was eligible and she had to live off her savings.

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She offered this advice: “Women should check their contributions and get a State Pension forecast so that they know how much and when they will get their State Pension. Even the maximum is not enough to live on, so everyone must consider saving into private pensions schemes. It takes a lifetime to save for retirement.”

Since the news about the judicial review claim settlement broke, WASPI’s membership has grown by 700 in a week. Angela said: “People have also continued to support us through our Crowdjustice page. It’s great to know that we have the support of so many women. Without them we wouldn't be doing this.”

Women can join the WASPI Campaign at www.waspi.co.uk. Membership is £25 per year, £15 for concessions and can be paid monthly. The North Derbyshire WASPI group has a facebook page and meets regularly to discuss progress and plan activities. For further information, email: [email protected].

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